The new Shenzhen Natural History Museum is going to be designed by the winners of an international competition that attracted more than 70 proposals from around the world. The winning team includes 3XN, B+H architects, and Zhubo Design. The museum will be on the list of Shenzhen’s ‘Ten Cultural Facilities of the New Era’ and it is the first large-scale comprehensive natural museum in Southern China. The museum will be a world-class natural science site dedicated to interpreting the laws of evolution, showing the geographies of Shenzhen and its ecology from a global perspective while actively advocating science.
The ambitious structure is called ‘Delta’ after the Pearl River Delta and is designed to rise seamlessly from the river with an accessible green rooftop for visitors to soak in the natural setting. The roof is a public park that showcases organic geometries in the form of architecture. The dynamic shape has been inspired by a river stream that has a new view, a new bend, a new discovery at every turn. Similarly, the museum too will have different views at every turn overlooking the surrounding park, hills, and lake from the winding terraces. A news article published in March reported that the total investment in the project was to be $496 million and that excludes the cost of acquiring a wide range of specimens—animals, plants, minerals, and fossils—that will be on display throughout over 365,000 square feet of exhibition-dedicated space.
The unique flow-y form leads guests from the lush gardens to a ‘cave’ inspired passage that is connected to the museum lobby, multiple cafes, and other indoor common areas. Apart from learning about natural history and science, the building is also a community hub that encourages residents to make the most of the rooftop park and outdoor activities. The 42,000 square meter facility will be set up right next to the picturesque Yanzi lake in the Pingshan district of Shenzhen, and beautifully blends function, concept, structure, and material with the space it is in – fitting for a building dedicated to the laws of nature!
Designer: 3XN, B+H architects, and Zhubo Design