The long-awaited Shanghai Natural History Museum opened in 2015. It was designed by Ralph Johnson, design director at Perkins + Will.
This space covers 44,517 square meters and offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural world by displaying more than 10,000 artifacts from all seven continents.
The building includes exhibition spaces, a 4D theater, an outdoor exhibition garden and a 30-meter high atrium that welcomes visitors with an abundance of natural light filtered through an impressive glass wall, inspired by the cell structure of the buildings. plants and animals.
The building's architecture was inspired by the nautilus shell, one of the purest geometric shapes found in nature (marine cephalopods once very abundant in the Paleozoic period, of which only one species remains: the nautilus, which lives in the southwest Pacific Ocean).
The building's facades depict natural elements, such as the central cell wall that represents the cellular structure of plants and animals, the east wall covered with vegetation, the north stone wall inspired by the displacement of tectonic plates or the stone walls inspired by the erosion caused by the rivers.
It is a bioclimatic building that responds to the movement of the sun through a skin whose intelligent construction maximizes solar gain. The large oval courtyard provides evaporative cooling, while the building's temperature is regulated by a geothermal system that uses earth energy for heating and cooling. Rainwater is collected on the vegetable roof and stored in the attached lagoon, whose gray water is recycled. All the energetic characteristics of the museum are part of exhibitions that explain the history of the museum.