PHAENO SCIENCE CENTER

Cities: WOLFSBURG
Countries: GERMANY
Categories: CULTURAL ARCHITECTURE
Date: 2005
The Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, was the very first science museum of its kind in Germany when it opened its doors to visitors in November 2005. On completion, the building represented the biggest single investment made by the city to date. It occupies an important site at the centre of Wolfsburg, completing a chain of significant cultural buildings by Aalto, Scharoun and Schweger and connecting via a bridge across the Mittelland Kanal to Volkswagen’s car manufacturing city, Autostadt. Concepts and designs for the building were inspired by the idea of magic box – a object capable of awakening curiosity and the desire for discovery in all who open or enter it. Multiple threads of pedestrian and vehicular movement are pulled through the site both on an artificial ground landscape and inside and through the building, effectively composing an interface of movement-paths. Volumetrically, the building is structured in such a way that it maintains a large degree of transparent and porosity on the ground, since the main volume – the Exhibition – is raised thus covering an outdoor public plaza with a variety of commercial and cultural functions which reside in the structural concrete cones. An artificial crater-like land-scape is developed inside the open exhibition space allowing diagonal views to the different levels of the exhibition-scape, while volumes, which protrude, accommodate other functions of the science center. A glazed public wormhole-like extension of the existing bridge flows through the building allowing views to and from the exhibition space. Photo credits: Helene Binet, Werner Hultmacher.
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