Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Phaeno Science Center is a new interactive science center in Wolfsburg, Germany. Phaeno arose from progressive urban planning by the City of Wolfsburg. In 1998 City officials were developing a plot of vacant, public land immediately adjacent to Wolfsburg's railway station and just south of VW's huge, then-unfinished attraction Autostadt. An art museum was planned for the site, but Dr. Wolfgang Guthardt, then the City's Director for Culture, Sports and Education, knew that such an institution would compete with Wolfsburg's successful Kunst Museum (Art Museum) and needed other options. Guthardt visited Technorama, a science center in Switzerland and became convinced that a science center in Wolfsburg would complement both Autostadt and the Kunst Museum.
Preliminary planning began in November 1998, and one year later Joe Ansel, an American consultant and designer, was approached to handle the exhibitions and other operational aspects of the project. An architectural design competition was held in January 2000 and the prominent architect Zaha Hadid won. About five years later, phaeno opened to the public on November 24, 2005 with over 250 interactive exhibits from Ansel Associates, Inc. all enclosed in an astounding concrete structure designed by Zaha Hadid and her German associate, Mayer Bährle architects. The architectural design has been described as a "hypnotic work of architecture - the kind of building that utterly transforms our vision of the future."
The building effectively stands on concrete stilts allowing visitors to the Autostadt to pass through without having to interfere with the workings of the building. Phaeno is connected to the Autostadt via a metal bridge accessed by escalators and stairs either side. The underside of Phaeno is illuminated and the "stilts" are too.
Dr. Guthardt is now Phaeno's first Executive Director. Phaeno has enjoyed high attendance and broad public acceptance since its opening.
Posted by bushganizer258 at 7:45 AM