SHENZHEN SCIENCE MUSEUM

SHENZHEN, CHINA / 2019


Megaliths and Near Faciality

Overscaled, alien figures rise from a large mat building, like monuments from an ancient or maybe future civilization.  These megaliths are not denuded, abstract forms, however. Like totems, they have expressions like faces, or nearly so. Deep, colorful mirror-chromed involutions appear like playful smiles and eyes with strong graphic silhouettes. But as much as the project first appears to be expressing itself in human ways, it ultimately refuses to resolve into recognizable features. The effect is as if, while it might be available for some sort of affinity with us to develop, it is not ultimately meant for people.

The mat building operates as the permanent exhibition space. It has tall ceilings and features a long-span, column-free space for flexible curation. A tear in the mat allows for daylight to enter the spaces while keeping the perimeter of the building opaque. The megaliths house special exhibitions in multi-level three-dimensional spaces which are crossed by bridges and feature circulation weaving up tall walls. These megaliths also serve to draw visitors up to the roof level, where they can roam among large things.

Lip-liner Tectonics

The silhouettes and edges of the mass are further emphasized by architectural scale lip- and eyeliner. Rather than applying a universal industrial mesh across surfaces, lip-liner tectonics differentiates the envelope into a series of vivid, unique events, much like human makeup does with a face. Mouth- and eye-like shapes are offset graphically and projected back onto adjacent skin, reinforcing the reading of the project as a set of discrete, alluring things.

Location: Shenzhen, China
Site Area: 66,000 SM
Floor Area: 105,000 SM
Program: Museum
Client: Shenzhen Municipal Party Committee and Government