Mathematics Gallery Science Museum by Zaha Hadid

Mathematics Gallery Science Museum

The Mathematics Gallery design explores the many influences of mathematics in our everyday lives; transforming seemingly abstract mathematical concepts into an exciting interactive experience for visitors of all ages. The Science Museum’s collection tells the stories of key scientific and technological developments and the people behind them. The new Mathematics Gallery will engage its visitors by connecting the gallery’s objects to their mathematical ideas and outlining their social and cultural significance. The gallery’s design will encourage visitors to be inquisitive and discover links between the historic objects and contemporary experience. The varied collection exhibited in the gallery will be divided into a number of zones exploring stories about mathematicians, mathematical applications in our everyday lives, and mathematical tools and ideas. However, the fluid organization of the gallery’s design will invite curators and visitors to establish connections that transcend every zone, mirroring the integrated nature of mathematics applications in all aspects of life.

The largest object to be exhibited within the gallery will be a 1929 biplane suspended from the ceiling. This experimental British aircraft made by Handley Page competed in the finals of the 1927 competition to design an aircraft that could take off and land slowly and steeply without stalling. The mathematics of aerodynamics and material stress embodied within the biplane’s design involved complex interacting equations which required extensive research by mathematicians across the aviation sector. This research profoundly advanced aeronautical science at the very beginnings of civilian air travel.The gallery’s design will bring this remarkable story of the Handley Page biplane to life by considering the entire gallery as a wind tunnel for the aircraft which will hang in the centre of the space. Three-dimensional curved surfaces representing the aircraft’s aerodynamic turbulence field describe the formal and organizational concepts that define all other aspects of the gallery. These curvilinear surfaces convey complex mathematical ideas such vector-fields with their capacity to describe constantly-varying quantities. The gallery’s many different display cases and three central exhibition pods will embody these same formal concepts by applying a family of mathematics called minimal surfaces to their design.Due to open in 2016, the new Mathematics Gallery will engage its visitors with an immersive experience of the mathematical and convey many of the fascinating stories of mathematicians that have shaped our history and continue to define our future. Sorce by Zaha Hadid Architects.

  • Location: London, UK
  • Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
  • Project Director: Charles Walker
  • Lead Designer: Shajay Bhooshan
  • Project Architect: Bidisha Sinha
  • Competition Team: Shajay Bhooshan,Mostafa El Sayed
    Suryansh Chandra,Vishu Bhooshan,Henry David Louth
    Weber Ramon Elias
  • Project Team: Shajay Bhooshan,Bidisha Sinha
    Mostafa El Sayed,Suryansh Chandra,Vishu Bhooshan
  • Structure / M&E: Arup
  • Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
  • Project Manager: Turner & Townsend
  • Client: The ScienceMuseum
  • Status: Under Construction
  • Area: 913m2
  • Year: 2014 / 2016
  • Image: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

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