Shanghai Astronomy Museum

1419 Shanghai Planetarium Aerial

Shanghai Astronomy Museum

The international competition-winning design celebrates the continuum of time and space: it is modern and forward-looking while at the same time presents a link to the past, mirroring both the rich history of Chinese astronomy and the future ambitions of China’s space exploration program.

Drone footage courtesy of Lingxiao Xie; Video editing courtesy of Xiaoyun Mao

In linking the new Museum to both scientific purpose and to the celestial references of buildings throughout history, the exhibits and architecture will communicate more than scientific content: they will illuminate what it means to be human in a vast and largely unknown universe.

Thomas Wong, Design Partner
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Drawing inspiration from astronomical principles, the international competition-winning design strategy invokes the experience of orbital motion. Each of the building’s three principal forms – the Oculus, the Inverted Dome and the Sphere – acts as an astronomical instrument, tracking the sun, moon and stars and reminding visitors that our conception of time originates in distant astronomical objects.

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The building form, program and circulation support the flow of visitors through the galleries and the experience of the three central bodies.

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Set within an expansive green zone, the Museum grounds include exterior exhibits, including a seventy-eight-foot-high solar telescope, as well as evening activities at a Youth Observation Camp and Observatory.

The Museum will elevate scientific and technological capacity while redefining the Langang area, about forty-five minutes from downtown Shanghai. 

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Construction Progress


Shanghai, China
420,000 GSF
Permanent Exhibit Galleries, Temporary Exhibit Galleries, Digital Sky Theater, Optical Planetarium, IMAX theater, Education and Research Center, Solar Telescope, Youth Observation Camp, and Observatory


Ennead Design Team
Thomas Wong, V. Guy Maxwell, Grace Chen, Stefan Knust, Anthony Guaraldo, Charles Wolf, Na Sun, Eric Tsui, Jorge Arias, Margarita Calero, Michael Caton, Christina Ciardullo, Eugene Colberg, Regina Jiang, Jörg Kiesow, Weiwei Kuang, Francelle Lim, Xiaoyun Mao, David Monnar, Nikita Payusov, James Rhee, Yong Roh, Miya Ruan, Stephanie Tung, Charles Wong, David Yu, Fred Zhang
Shanghai Institute of Architectural Design and Research
Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.
Drone Footage / Photography
Charles Wong, Lingxiao Xie