Do you love space? Well, you can really immerse yourself in it at the largest astronomy museum in the world that just opened up in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai Astronomy Museum celebrates time and space, with the cosmos being in every aspect of the design. Visiting the museum is like traveling to another universe!
Designed by Thomas J. Wong of Ennead Architects, the 420,000 square feet museum opened on July 18, 2021, and it’s a branch of the Shangai Science and Technology Museum. It’s meant to be immersive, giving visitors an experience with real astronomical phenomena.
The design focus was on “the relationship of our concept of time with orbital motion, the continuous motion of our universe, the complexity of that motion as represented by the three-body problem,” Wong told Travel + Leisure.
The building’s three principles are drawn from astronomy—Oculus, the Inverted Dome, and Sphere. They’re functional astronomical instruments and they track the sun, moon, and stars. The Oculus serves as a sundial, demonstrating the passage of time. The Inverted Dome, is a rooftop amphitheater that connects visitors with the sky. Finally, the Sphere is home to the planetarium theater and it rises like the moon over the horizon, giving the illusion of anti-gravity.
The museum also has a 78-foot solar telescope, an observatory, an optical Planetarium, Digital Sky Theater, and Education and Research Center.