Shanghai museum reopens to great fanfare
aside at least four hours of our day in order to absorb everything,” said Chen Shaojie, the father of an eight-year-old son, who queued in the morning with his family for over an hour.
In the past two months, the museum has welcomed more than 25,000 visitors from inside and outside the city to explore the history, beauty and mystery of nature.
“My son who loves dinosaurs keeps asking questions through the three-hour tour, which allows him to learn the origin of natural species from samples and 4D videos. The knowledge and experience cannot be obtained from the lessons taken at school,” said Chen.
Chen added that he would bring his son to visit the museum regularly as it is the perfect place for him to learn knowledge and have fun at the same time.
The building also includes exhibit spaces, a 4D theater, an outdoor exhibit garden, and a 30-meter-tall atrium that welcomes visitors with an abundance of natural light filtered through a striking glass wall inspired by the cellular structure of plants and animals.
“A great museum experience may have positive influence on a person’s whole life,” said Liang.
In this case, it’s not just the inside that counts either. Designed by Perkins+Will, a leading global architecture firm founded in Chicago in 1935, the overall shape and organization of the new museum was inspired by the nautilus shell, one of the purest geometric forms found in nature.
The stunning ‘ bioclimatic’ building has an ‘intelligent building skin’ to maximize daylight. Its four external walls emulate natural elements – including a vertical garden on the east wall, and a northern stone wall inspired by shifting tectonic plates and canyon walls eroded by rivers.
“The use of cultural references found in traditional Chinese gardens was key to the design,” said Ralph Johnson, global design director at Perkins+Will.
“Through its integration with the site, the building represents the harmony of humanity and nature and is an abstraction of the basic elements of Chinese art and design,” he said.
An exhibit on such a scale has been made possible by the move from the museum’s old home in the Shanghai Cotton Exchange on 260 East Yan’an Road in Huangpu district, which could display just one percent of its collection at any given time.
People from Shanghai have special feelings towards the old museum, especially the largest exhibit, a 140-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton that inspired many kids’ dream to explore nature and the world.
“It was a shame that the old museum had to be closed down. I still remembered the first time entering the museum when I was six years old, I was totally shocked by the giant dinosaur skeleton popping in front of me,” said He Xin, a 33-year-old engineer whose childhood was filled with memories of going to the old museum.
He added that he would go to the new museum someday to see the enlarged collection of samples but the strong emotional attachment with those old exhibits he used to have cannot be replaced.