• OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi museum of history science and technology Dalian China
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi museum of history science and technology Dalian China

Museum of History Science and Technology

Dalian's new Museum of History and Museum of Science & Technology serve as physical embodiments of a vision: development and progress, the key initiatives for Dalian's economic future.
Continuously inhabited since 221 BC, Dalian is a city with a progressive vision matured in its unique history. The project captures the essence of fluidity and movement. The museums are physical expressions of the confluence of time, location, people.
Furthermore, their dynamic shapes reflect the topics covered in each museum, from the contemplation of the origins of the world to the nature of time and place.
Dalian is a seaside city that is designing its future development by reclaiming land from the sea with human effort.
But the future always has roots. The two museums are the iconic image of the future cast from the historical roots of Dalian.
The inspiration of this design comes from the collective imagination, cultural, historical, artistic and natural heritage of Dalian.
The architecture translates these references, through organic forms drawn from both sea and land.
The large envelope is self-supporting: it works as a macro-structure composed of many frames that rotate around their axes, then stiffened with struts that make the entire three-dimensional system hard, like an accordion frozen in its movement. The structure is supported by only two contacts with the ground, opening up the central hall to the landscape and the city.
The self-supporting frame is a four-sided polygon that generates four twisted surfaces.
Two surfaces are transparent glass, one is mirrored (to become fully interactive with the landscape and people), and one is opaque and encloses distribution services (a sort of core belt that runs along the linear development of the building).
From an environmental and energy point of view, the glass surfaces absorbs the sun's heat in winter and will be shielded from the sun during summer and, opening themselves, will allow a pleasant natural ventilation. The mirror surface reflects the sun rays thus limiting solar radiation, while the matte surface has a high thermal mass to retain heat in winter and coolness in summer.
As for the façade system, we are developing two strategies. First, to use a panel system which has the advantage of high speed construction and the quality control of prefabricate technique. Second, to create an internal casing that ensures water/air tightness and has a function of thermal insulation by adding a ventilated façade ("standing seam").
There will be no separation between the two Museums and the city. Also the landscape is designed to protect from the traffic but at the same time to be open to the people who can move easily from one museum to the other without physical divisions.
Within this macro structure that constitutes the envelope of the two museums, a number of plans articulate the two museums in different ways.
The Museum of History is presented as a spiral, accompanying the visitor from the past into the future up to the Major Gallery at the top of the spiral, where through a large three-dimensional model and the view from the above it will be possible to imagine and enjoy the Pulan future urban development.
Reflecting the interdependence of its two fields, The Museum of Science and Technology comprises two sectors: staged planes linked to each other through escalators that allow multiple modes of connection. An Orientation Hall, characterized by a space and cosmos macro installation, distributes the two foyers organized around the central space.

OBR design team:
Paolo Brescia e Tommaso Principi
Michele Renzini
Andrea Casetto
Yu Chaoyin
Alba Guerrera
Jacopo Nori
Izabela Sobieraj
Angelika Sierpien

Project team:
Buro Happold
Cultural Innovation
Mic Mobility in Chain
Studio Tre Architetti Associati
Artiva Design
San He Environment & Technology

Municipality of Dalian

Pulan, Dalian

site area 110.000 sqm
built area 77.000 sqm

2011 Invitation design competition