Shanghai Natural History Museum

Shanghai, N/A / United States of America

At the Shanghai Natural History Museum, visitors can explore the history of nature through an immersive display of more than 10,000 artifacts from all seven continents.

Located adjacent to an urban sculpture park, a large three story entry lobby and cable stay glass wall culminates the spiraling landscaped roof plane and allows the outside plaza to bleed seamlessly into the building. Once inside the lobby, visitors are directed upward via a ramp to the orientation theater which floats above them within the open volume. The exhibit sequence flows from this high vantage point with the visitors experiencing content spanning from Dinosaurs to DNA in a downward spiraling path expressed in the exterior form of the building. A sunken oval courtyard located in the heart of the composition, wrapped by the textured “cell wall”, becomes the central focal element on the interior and acts as the primary orientation and unification element for all the exhibit spaces contained within. Strategically placed skylights allow daylight to penetrate deep into the building. A palette of light colored stone, white walls and rich wood tones are enlivened by the dappled light and shadow patterns cast by the cellular enclosure.

Architect of Record


Associate Architect

Tongji University Architectural Design & Research Institute


Shanghai Science & Technology Museum


  • Shanghai Science & Technology Museum
  • Tongji University Architectural Design & Research Institute
  • Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects