MAD shapes Hainan science and technology museum 'like a cloud in dialogue with nature'

MAD architects
Add to favorites

MAD architects, led by Ma Yansong, unveils plans for the Hainan science and technology museum in Haikou city, Hainan, China.

Located on Haikou’s west coast, surrounded by sports stadiums and a national wetland park, the project’s design draws from the site’s dual urban and natural context, one where a ‘primeval rainforest and technology of the future meet.’ The museum is MAD’s second major public project in Hainan following the cloudscape of Haikou, which opened back in April, while it is scheduled to be completed and open to the public in 2024.

Once completed, MAD architects’ Hainan science and technology museum will serve as a destination for the exploration of science, technology, and nature, encouraging visitors to seek inspiration from both the urban and natural setting. Set against the backdrop of a rich tropical rainforest, the museum’s main pavilion is shaped ‘like a cloud in dialogue with nature’. From a distance, the futuristic building appears to emerge from the city, while visitors entering in the museum area witness it floating above the jungle.

Fiber-reinforced plastic wraps the the museum’s façade, making the building distinctive from both near and afar with its silver, reflective exterior and futuristic aesthetic. Inside, the museum will feature 27,782 sqm of above-ground facilities including permanent exhibition space, a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, and a flying theater. Its interior structure consists of three floor-to-ceiling cores, curved trusses, spiral ramps, and a roof, all exposed to achieve harmony between the architectural forms and structural system. The spacious atrium is bathed in natural light thanks to a skylight in the museum’s dome, creating a bright and transparent environment.

A spiralling, sloping exhibition space ascends from the central hall over five floors, connecting visitors across the museum. The exhibition experience begins on the fifth floor, where the elevator opens to a 360-degree viewing platform with the sea and cityscape visible in the distance. Visitors on this uppermost floor will begin by exploring the technology and space galleries before proceeding down the ramp to the ocean and life science galleries on the fourth floor, the math and science galleries on the third floor, and the multimedia interactive experience area and children’s playground on the second floor.

Outside, an undulating canopy extends from the main pavilion in all directions, sheltering the public from Haikou’s humid and rainy climate. The north side of the canopy also hosts the giant screen and flying theater and, in the southwest corner, the planetarium and observatory. The museum’s various outdoor public spaces, including a crater-like sunken plaza and reflecting pool, offer areas for rest and relaxation. ‘The diversity of the surrounding tropical plants makes this an ideal setting for learning about nature, offering visitors more than simply an exhibition-viewing experience by also providing a pleasant environment to freely enjoy and experience nature,’ notes MAD.

The Hainan science and technology museum will break ground in late august 2021 and is scheduled to be completed and open to the public in 2024.

Project info:

Name: Hainan science and technology museum

Architect: MAD architects

Location: Haikou, China

Building area: 46,528 sqm

Above ground: 27,782 sqm

Underground: 18,746 sqm

Principal partners: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano

Associate partners: Kin Li, Fu Changrui, Tiffany Dahlen

Design team: Wang Yiding, Reem Mosleh, Sun Feifei, Alan Rodríguez Carrillo, Rozita Kashirtseva, Wu Qaoling, Edgar Navarrete, Zhu Yuhao, Zheng Chengwen, Zhang Yaohui, Li Hui, Yang Xuebing, Dayie Wu, Zhou Haimeng, Lim Zi Han, Yin Jianfeng, Guo Xuan

Client: Hainan association for science and technology

Client representative: Haikou Urban Construction Group co.,ltd

Executive architects: China Construction Design International (CCDI)

Façade consultant: RFR shanghai

Landscape consultant: Earthasia design group

Interior design consultant: China Construction Design International (CCDI)

Lighting consultant: Beijing sign lighting industry group

Signage consultant: China Construction Design International (CCDI)

Exhibition consultant: Tongji architectural design (group) co., ltd.

Year: 2019-2024

MAD shapes Hainan science and technology museum 'like a cloud in dialogue with nature'