The huge 38,000m² building will be located in the new Lingang District just south east of Shanghai’s central business district; a rapidly developing area.
The building is inspired by astronomical principals, with three of the main design elements also serving as astronomical instruments.
The Oculus is located centrally and tracks the sun’s path across the museum, symbolically marking the passage of time.
The Inverted Dome is located at the end of the permanent exhibit sequence, and offers wide and magnificent views of the sky dome.
Lastly, the pearl-like Sphere not only adds an iconic element to the proposal, but also contains an Optical Planetarium Theatre with an 18metre diameter. Furthermore a continuous skylight wraps around the base of the suspended sphere, allowing natural light to filter through.
Other features the Spiralling Planetarium boasts include temporary exhibit galleries, a digital sky theatre with a 21metre diameter, an IMAX theatre, an education and research centre, a solar telescope, a youth observation camp and of course an observatory.
The celestial design proposal by New York based Ennead Architects, was chosen as the winner of an international design competition.
The $95 million dollar project is expected to open in 2018.