When it is completed at the end of 2012, Perkins + Will’s nautilus-shell-shaped Shanghai Natural History Museum will emerge from a proposed sculpture park and provide views of the surrounding city.
Perkins + Will won the international competition in 2007 to design the museum, which will replace an existing natural history museum. The architects were inspired by the classical gardens in Suzhou with their water features, rock formations, and screened walls, which they abstracted in their design. “It’s important that the museum is in the old side of the city,” says Bryan Schabel, the senior designer on the project and an associate principal in Perkins + Will’s Chicago office.
The spiraling 45,000-square-meter building rises out of the park with a ramp-like green roof that is accessible to the public and culminates in an observation deck.