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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Beijing Science Center in China by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten

August 18th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International won the first prize in the interna-tional competition for the new Beijing Science Center. The original building housing the Museum was opened in the same place in Beijing in 1988 and at the time was the first national science and technology museum in China. The museum building will be constructed on behalf of the Beijing Association for Science and Technology, China.

Beijing Science Center

  • Architects: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
  • Project: Beijing Science Center
  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Developer: Beijing Association for Science and Technology
  • Site area: 57,000 square meters
  • GSA: 100,800 square meters, of which approx. 80,000 square meters above ground
  • Max. height: 45 meters
  • Green ratio: 35%
  • Parking: underground 16,000 square meters, above ground 35 busses
  • Photography: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International GmbH

Street View (Image Courtesy KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten)

Urban design scenario
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten’s “Science Cloud” design takes into account the exposed location at the junction of the third ring road and Beijing’s cen-tral north/south axis, on which attractions such as the Forbidden City, Tia-nanmen Square, and, to the north, the site of the 2008 Olympic Games are to be found. In this prominent position, the museum’s striking design will give the city yet another landmark. In the south and east the building opens onto a spacious public plaza, shielding the adjoining residential quarters in the north from the busy roads. At the same time the museum forecourt is not only the place where visitors arrive but also somewhere the inhabitants of the neighboring districts can spend time. Trees and expanses of greenery create a natural transition and a visual dividing line between the exhibition building and the road.

Masterplan (Image Courtesy KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten)

Johannes Reinsch, Managing Director and Partner of KSP Jürgen Engel Arc-hitekten International, regards the new Beijing Science Center as one of the most important projects of the last few years for the firm of architects from Germany , describing the assignment as follows: “The new Beijing Science Center creates a novel form of access to the world of research, technology and science. Constructing a museum on Imperial Axis in Beijing, China is for us as German architects a great success and an enormous honor.”

A floating roof is the Museum’s distinguishing feature
The new building’s key element is a floating structure measuring 133.5 by 133.5 meters, which rises above the pedestal building at a height of around 20 meters. This roof is supported by numerous, extremely slender columns, which, based on the image of a bamboo grove, form a concentrated forest of columns. They create a spatial transition from the public road to the scientif-ic exhibition area. The exhibition’s aim is to give visitors access to future technology, science, and research. The forest of columns, water basin and the slanting pedestal create an architectural topography that leads the visitors from the city into the museum’s exhibition world. The spherical edifice hous-ing the former Beijing Science Centers, (the sphere with the 3D cinema), which was well known in the city, is to be integrated in the new museum building, thereby preserving its significance and standing.

Birdeye View (Image Courtesy KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten)

Exhibition areas and additional facilities
The exhibition is divided into three sections: the permanent exhibition, changing exhibitions, and the “Virtual Experience”. The latter section is housed in the spherical structure. Apart from the three exhibition levels 5, 6 and 7, which cover a surface area of some 40,000 square meters in the float-ing edifice, what is known as the “Science Cloud”, the museum, which has a total surface area 65,240 square meters, also boasts the following facilities: two further sections for changing exhibitions covering a surface area of 4,960 square meters in total, rooms for museum-related educational activi-ties, an auditorium, a restaurant and a museum café, not to mention inte-grated services. The research and administration areas are located in the northern section of the pedestal.

The facade design and sustainability
The structure of the building comes across as open and inviting, with no large glass sections, which is advantageous in terms of both the flexible exhi-bition concept on the inside and the energy concept. The facades stand out for their white, thermally insulated square and rhombic aluminum panels. Various-size window openings emphasize the dynamic shape of the edifices and make the activities on the inside visible. Furthermore, LED lighting in the exhibition area ensures reduced electricity consumption. The water ba-sins humidify and cool the air naturally.

After various cultural buildings such as, for example, the National Library of China in Beijing, the Art Museum in Nanjing, and another exhibition build-ing in Tianjin that is currently under construction, the future Beijing Science Center represents another new museum building designed by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten in China.

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
KSP Jürgen Engel is one of the architecture firms from Germany that enjoy international success. Five offices in the country and one each in Beijing, China and Hanoi, Vietnam enable regional project management and direct contact with clients. In dialog with developers KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, with a total of 200 employees, design edifices of the highest quality. Design and planning services, as well as a corresponding level of professionalism in the execution of building assignments, no matter what the size, guarantee a high degree of functionality, flexibility and design quality in the buildings.

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Categories: Educational Center, Science Club

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