Chinese studio Open Architecture has revealed its design for a space museum and experience center in Yantai, China, which will appear like a mysterious black object in an oceanfront park. The city of Yantai is the hometown of the first female Chinese spacewalker – a fact that the locals are very proud of. Planned to be completed in 2026, Space Crystals is part of Open Architecture's larger master plan for the seaside park.
Named Space Crystals, the building will have a glossy black exterior and a faceted stone-like shape that rises at one end to point toward the ocean. With Space Crystals' unique shape, Open Architecture aimed to create a distinctive museum that invites the public inside to learn more about space and the universe. Back-painted glass will cover half of the external facade, while photovoltaic glass will cover the south-facing facade to generate enough solar to power the building's lighting. Under sunny conditions, this capacity is about enough for the general lighting requirement of the whole building.
Visitors will enter the building on the south side underneath the rising cantilever, arriving at a 20-metre-high atrium with faceted walls that mirror the appearance of the exterior. The atrium will be used as an exhibition space displaying hanging objects and digital projections. The studio designed a ramp encircling the atrium space that will lead to exhibition spaces above, intending to give visitors a sense of gradually exploring the building. The top of the spiral ramp will open onto an outdoor terrace with views of the nearby ocean.