The Macao Science Center is a state-of-the-art educational and cultural facility located at the gateway to this special administrative region of China situated along the Pearl River Delta within an hour of Hong Kong by ferry. Completed in December 2009, the facility was dedicated by President Hu Jin Tao on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the former Portuguese colony’s return to Chinese sovereignty.
The 23,000-sq. meter (250,000-sq. foot) center houses interactive exhibition galleries, advanced conference facilities and seminar rooms, and a 150-seat planetarium with a hemispherical screen equipped with high resolution 3D digital projectors. The building’s playful volumes consisting of a rhomboid, a dome and a tilted cone are designed to articulate the functional program, exploit its waterfront setting and to become an instant and enduring landmark of Macao.
The plan of the complex is organized around clear pathways and choices intended to orient and enliven the experience of scientific discovery and to encourage multiple visits. Modulations of ceiling height, of color and light levels, and of geometry intensify the anticipation and enjoyment of exhibits. Throughout, portals to the sea and sky illuminate the relationship of human achievement and knowledge to the real world.
At its summit an observation deck invites visitors to take in a 360-degree view towards the water and the city. The building is clad in shimmering aluminum that responds to and reflects the ever-changing atmosphere of the city.