Tibet Natural Science Museum stands in the middle of the Himalayan mountains, where it is inspired by Buddhist culture, resulting in a building that is an integral part of the Tibetan landscape.

Situated on the high plateau of Tibet at an altitude of 3,650 m, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. The new Tibet Natural Science Museum chimes in with the amenities on this outstanding site. Lying at the heart of the Himalayas on the roof of the world, the project combines state-of-the-art techniques with a reinterpretation of traditional Tibetan symbols, giving the region sustainable facilities of international importance.

The museum is composed of three sections: Natural Science, Technology and Art. The architectural project has been consistent with the museum project from the beginning: the spaces, which are flexible, are equipped with the latest technologies with novel scenographic elements.

Located alongside a canal, the morphology of the project echoes the line of the uneven ridge of the surrounding mountains. A symbol of strength, the mountain connects with the water here, synonymous with life. The facilities are arranged around a large central lobby used as an active buffer space as part of the project’s energy saving system. The profile of the mouldings on the façade references the “khata”, a Buddhist scarf that symbolises happiness, here fashioned like the weft of a woven fabric adorned with mandala patterns. This structural screen, which reminds us of the appearance of the snowy mountain, bestows an aesthetic lightness on the built volume. The different thicknesses of the patterns of the screen on the roof and façade allow the sun to filter through so that the light and interior temperature can be modulated. The structure includes photovoltaic cells as well as a water treatment and recovery system. The museum, intended forrecepting as many visitors as possible, unites the past, present and future in a single location, and stands in the middle of the mountains as the torch of Tibetan culture.

  • Customer:Tibet Science and Technology Bureau
  • Team:Architecturestudio (lead consultant), Sichuan Zhongtai Construction, Project Management Ltd., Beijing QingShang, Environment & Architectural Design Institute, SINOCONST
  • Program:Museum
  • Year:2015
  • Surface:446 ha dont 32 000 m² de surface bâtie
  • Cost:51 000 000 €
  • Status:Delivered in 2015
  • Label:BREEAM 2010, very good

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