The Beijing Air and Space museum is located at the heart of the Beijing Futura City scheme in China. This large mixed-used development on the outskirts of Beijing features high-density residential, cultural attractions and retail outlets plus a myriad of entertainment and food and beverage venues.
Hetzel Design wanted to break away from the standard city grid formation and introduce meandering boulevards leading to a large central park. This park provides an urban living room for the residents and even indoor gardens during the cold winter months.
The Air and Space Museum, which is nearing completion, is a 43,000 sq m facility within the Futura City development housing 18 interactive exhibits, three theatres and a children’s astronaut training centre.The museum itself is centrally located, yet detached from the central park and its many amenities.
The obvious solution was to create a footbridge to link the two; but Hetzel Design took a different view – what if the building itself could become a bridge?
The project started with some rough sketches to establish the footprint in the available space and this rapidly evolved into a design that featured a continuous form that wraps around itself.
Inside, the large central lobby houses a pair of escalators that transport visitors up through the focal LED sphere on a journey of discovery. Visitors can then take their time meandering down cantilevered ramps exploring the exhibits. Externally, the LED sphere acts as an environmental lighting sculpture whilst internally it is one large immersive projection environment.
Also included in the building are two levels of flexible exhibition space and an enormous, soaring ride attraction, within another projection dome, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the wonder of flight and space travel.Source by Hetzel Design.
Location: Hebei Province (Beijing vicinity), China
Architects: Hetzel Design
Design: Branislav Hetzel, AIA, CEO
Project Team: Hetzel Design, StuDia
Client: Sky Ocean
Size: 43,000 m2
Status: nearing completion
Photographs: Courtesy of Hetzel Design
Article by Marco Rinaldi