The Chinese city of Suzhou is ringing in the New Year with plans for a green-roofed behemoth of a museum rivaling those found in its ritzier cousin, Shanghai. Perkins+Will is behind the design of the Suzhou Science Technology Museum, still in its conceptual phase, that’s expected to cover 600,000 square feet. Inspired by the Chinese philosophy of shan sui (mountain and water), the project will be integrated into nature and form the centerpiece of a new cultural district in Shishan Park.
It’s little wonder Perkins+Will was tapped for the project; the international architecture firm was also behind the spectacular Shanghai Natural History Museum. The proposed Suzhou Science Technology Museum will be located at the foot of Lion Mountain and next to Shishan Lake. Exhibitions will be housed within a 66,700-square-foot ribbon-shaped building that emerges from the base of the mountain, twists upwards, and then double backs onto itself and into a dramatic cantilever over the lake edge. The form draws inspiration from the infinity loop and is meant to evoke a flowing silk scarf, one of Suzhou’s most famous exports.
Like the Shanghai Natural History Museum, the Suzhou Science Technology Museum will boast several green features from the green roof atop the exhibition hall to the addition of new man-made, teardrop-shaped Eco Islands that will be vegetated, accessible to the public, and serve as a natural filtration system for the lake. Natural light is optimized indoors, while a planted forest buffer provides a respite of fresh air from city smog. Permeable paving and bioswales will be integrated into the civic plaza designs and a water restoration strategy will be put in place.
Images via Perkins+Will