The firm of Bernard Tschumi (Lausanne, 1944), working from offices in Paris and New York, has in Tianjin, China, completed this 33,000-square-meter museum, ahead of opening in Fall 2019.
It is part of the Binhai Cultural Center, the masterplan of which was prepared by gmp – Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners – and includes a public library designed by MVRDV.
The Exploratorium’s galleries showcase the industrial past of the port city through large-scale artifacts of contemporary technology, including rockets used in space research. Facilities are provided for cultural events, offices, restaurants, and retail.
Drawing inspiration from the industrial tradition of the zone, the design uses perforated aluminum panels as cladding for enormous cones, and the central ones are crowned with skylights that bring daylight into the building. These structures also function as solar chimneys, a passive cooling and heating system that channels warm air out of the building in summer and filters it in during winter. A spiraling ramp that begins in the triple-height foyer of the central cone leads to the upper floors and on to the rooftop viewing point.