The original China Science and Technology Museum located on the north Third Ring Road (and not to be confused with the newer facility, which opened last year at the Olympic Forest Park) is set for a radical makeover, courtesy of award-winning architects KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International.
Dating back to 1988, the museum was the first of its kind in China and featured an iconic geodesic dome that houses an "Astro-Vision Theater," among other attractions. Based on the artistic renderings, the new design looks far more grandiose, and, according to evolo.us, features a "floating structure measuring 133.5m x 133.5m, which rises above the pedestal building at a height of around 20m."
This roof is supported by numerous, extremely slender columns, which, based on the image of a bamboo grove, form a concentrated forest of columns. They create a spatial transition from the public road to the scientific exhibition area
No word yet on what attractions will be housed within, but from the looks of it, you can expect some truly-state of the art exhibitions.
Meanwhile, we recently took a trip back to the new China Science and Technology Museum, located a ten minutes’ walk east of the south gate of the Olympic Forest Park. The museum is easily accessible by metro line 1 and the attractions include four theaters, a cafeteria, and an area especially for kids’ exhibits.
The whole building is nicely air-conditioned, making it a great daylong activity for these hot summer days. Tickets for the main exhibition area are RMB 30 for adults, RMB 20 for students with ID, and include four floors’ worth of attractions, over which the obligatory dinosaur skeleton looms.
The attractions themselves are split into are themed areas ranging from "healthy living and nutrition" to "physics." Familiar tricks, such as pendulums and Rube-Goldberg devices, scatter the floor along with block puzzles and ocean life exhibits. All posters and information are written in both English and Chinese, though the scientific details may escape younger visitors.
Once your kids start to tire of wandering the floors, head back to the ground floor and check out the theaters. The Beijing Science and Technology Museum boasts an impressive array of four cinemas: the Dome Screen, 4D Cinema, IMAX Cinema and 3D Motion Cinema. The Dome Screen is reminiscent of a planetarium, with shows such as “Cosmic Voyage” and “Journey to the Stars.” Meanwhile, the 4D Cinema has cute animated films such as “Turtle Vision,” which should appeal especially to younger kids, while the IMAX theater has international films such as “The Ultimate Wave,” a film about Tahiti’s surf scene dubbed smoothly over into Chinese.
Finally, the 3D Motion Cinema should be a good choice for elementary to middle-schoolers, incorporating movement and special effects into selections such as the “Extreme Log Ride 3D.”
The museum has a number of dining options featuring both basic Western options – i.e. hamburgers and hot dogs – and Chinese selections consisting of the standard set meals (tao can, 套餐）with servings of rice, veggies and meat, and a variety of drinks. Prices for these tend to fall in the RMB 20 range for a meal. More options are available in the cafeteria area downstairs, which has both a greater variety of cheaper set meals and a Pizza Company buffet for RMB 49.
China Science and Technology Museum. 中国科技馆
2 Beichen Donglu (ten minutes east of the south gate of the Olympic Forest Park). Chaoyang District. (5904 1000) 朝阳区北辰东路5号