This Architectural Wonder Called The Shanghai Planetarium Will Mesmerise You
New York-based Ennead Architects has won the international competition of architecture for the 409,000 sq ft. Shanghai Planetarium, thus moving towards the realisation of Shanghai's Futuristic planetarium is a step closer to reality. The futuristic planetarium headed by Thomas Wong, to be built at Lin Gang Da Dao, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, has three principal forms – the Oculus, the Inverted Dome and the Sphere. The idea behind the design of the futuristic planetarium is to celebrate the scale of time and space. The design of the planetarium is modern in every sense but it also links the past and the future. It mirrors the rich history of China's astronomy and its ambitious space exploration program.
The three principal forms, the Oculus, the inverted dome and the Sphere act as the astronomical instruments. The tracking of sun, moon and the stars reminds and tells the visitors that the conception of time has originated by observing the celestial bodies. The Oculus is like a giant sundial, the visitors can track the circle of sunlight. The inverted dome is designed such that the visitors view only the day or the night light. The structure is set within an expanse of the green zone. It includes a 78 ft. high solar telescope. The Sphere houses the domed screen of the Planetarium. it allows direct sunlight to enter the passages in the Museum below. The full circular ring of sunlight can be experienced during the summer solstice.
Given the nascent stage of construction technology in China, the major problem is to find the expertise and the talent to complete the structure. The architects at Ennead are targeting the LEED accreditation and a three-star rating from China for the planetarium. Also, the poor air quality of China due to industrialisation has made sustainability and energy use an acute issue. In order to combat the problem, a whole system of sustainable features would be integrated along with a geothermal heat pump. The whole structure is designed to use the air and the storm water and return it back into the atmosphere lot cleaner than it received. Low VOC materials and green roof would be used reduce energy use.