Phaeno Science Center Wolfsburg

Phaeno Science Center Wolfsburg

Car Parks, Auditoriums and Cultural Centres
Wolfsburg, Germany - Build completed in 2005
Werner Huthmacher

Stimulating Concrete

Zaha Hadid Architects as Architects

The Science Center, the first of its kind in Germany, appears as a mysterious object, giving rise to curiosity and dis-covery. The visitor is faced with a degree of complexity and strangeness, which is ruled however by a very specific system of structural organization. Located on a very special site in the City of Wolfsburg it is set both as the endpoint of a chain of important cultural buildings (by Aalto, Scharoun and Schweger) as well as being a connecting link to the north bank of the Mittelland Kanal -Volkswagen’s Car Town. Multiple threads of pedestrian and vehicular movement are pulled through the site both on an artificial ground landscape and inside and through the building, effectively composing an interface of movement-paths. Volumetrically, the building is structured in such a way that it maintains a large degree of transparent and porosity on the ground, since the main volume -the Exhibition- is raised thus covering an outdoor public plaza with a variety of commercial and cultural functions which reside in the structural concrete cones. An artificial crater-like land-scape is developed inside the open exhibition space allowing diagonal views to the different levels of the exhibition-scape, while volumes, which protrude, accommodate other functions of the science center. A glazed public wormhole-like extension of the existing bridge flows through the building allowing views to and from the exhibition space.