Ennead Architects have won the international competition for the building of Shanghai’s planetarium, a new 38,000-square-meter project that will define a new identity for the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (SSTM) in China.
Three ‘celestial bodies’ comprise the architecture: The Oculus, the Inverted Dome, and the Sphere. The Oculus demonstrates the passage of time by tracking a circle of sunlight on the ground across the entry plaza and reflecting pool. The Inverted Dome sits atop the central atrium around which all galleries are organized and through which all visitors pass. Finally, the Sphere contains the domed screen of the Planetarium; a continuous skylight around the Sphere allows direct sunlight to enter and marks the passage of time in the Museum below, with a full circular ring of light realized at the noon hour of the summer solstice.
They contain Permanent Exhibit Galleries, Temporary Exhibit Galleries, Digital Sky Theater, Optical Planetarium, IMAX theater, Education and Research Center, Solar Telescope, Youth Observation Camp, and Observatory.
The planetarium is modern and forward-looking while at the same time presents a link to the past, mirroring both the rich history of Chinese astronomy and the future ambitions of China’s space exploration program.
The design has won numerous awards such as Special Mention, Cultural-Unbuilt Cultural, Architizer A+ Awards in 2018.