Roaming in the vast universe, drifting in the milky way, wandering in the space, shuttling between light and shadow.This is no dream, nor exclusive experience of astronauts. But a visual feast you can enjoy at the world’s largest planetarium in terms of building scale, Shanghai Astronomy Museum.Shanghai Astronomy Museum was opened to the public in July, 2021. Its unique trajectory style was inspire by astronomical principles.Concrete walls and steel frames are made into curves, invoking the experience of orbital motion.
Just as the architect of the building, Thomas Wong, design partner from Ennead Architects put: “In linking the new Museum to both scientific purpose and to the celestial references of buildings throughout history, the exhibits and architecture will communicate more than scientific content: they will illuminate what it means to be human in a vast and largely unknown universe.”
This unconventional design placed great challenge to the contractors.Assembly line products could never deliver the essence of the design. Relicase was proud to take part in this project. We designed and fabricated signature showcases for inspiring exhibits about the universe.
Invitation from Shanghai Astronomy Museum was no easy task to Relicase.We have done history museums, art museums, science museums, archaeological museums, etc. But this is our first time doing the Astronomy Museum. Collaborating with extremely creative design team, we have greatly extended our versatility.
Unlike most museums which adore simple showcases that fade into backgrounds, the Shanghai Astronomy Museum demanded statement showcases that infuse perfectly into the theme and become an important part of the narrative.
It is really challenging incorporating design elements into highly functional structures of showcases.
For example, curved freestanding showcase which encloses precious meteorites adopts a undulating facade to imply the falling trajectory of the alien incomers. The extra large facade of curved glass costs extreme efforts in design, production and installation. Each piece of glass was curved with unique mold after numerous calculations. Heavy base parts were carried and fitted into the recessed floor to hide the foot underground. We feel so proud of our staff and the final outcome of a polished showcase.
In contrast with the curved lines above, the showcase containing the sunlight studies appear in a much tougher style. The straight lines and sharp angles embody the straight propagation of light.Optical instruments inside the spacious showcase reveal magic tricks of the sunlight:refraction, diffraction, and interference.Audience can enjoy the magic through the transparent showcase hood. With a perimeter of 12 meters, the frameless glass hood took superb skills to glue into formation.
The triangle showcase reveals three aspects of the meteorites in its facades respectively. The overall appearance of meteorites, beautiful patterns appreciated through a kaleidoscope, and amazing structure observed through a microscope.The glass facades are also curved in accordance with oval trajectory of meteorites.
Three significant pieces of meteorites are exhibited in circular freestanding showcases in middle of the hall. The stars are “Jilin Meteorite” “Changxing Island Meteorite No.1”“Dongwu Meteorite”.
Among the space elements, there is a refreshing exhibition corner filled with Romanesque vibe.Showcases with Roman vault revealed the history of the introduction of Western Astronomy into China.
These are a few examples of our bespoke showcases for Shanghai Astronomy Museum. As a professional museum showcase supplier, Relicase prioritizes preservation functionality of the showcases, yet embraces innovation challenges imposed by imaginative designers. We are most ready to devote to the preservation of artifacts, as well as explore the vast of spaces and technologies.
40cm refractor in Sheshan Observatory