Zaha Hadid Architects won the bid to design a new maths gallery for the London Science Museum.
Mathematics is often seen as a boring subject matter, but since Zaha Hadid Architects won the bid to design a new maths gallery for the London Science Museum, it will be earning more appreciation. The design of the gallery will explore the many influences of mathematics, as well as tell the story of the subject field from the 17th century up until now.
Private donors David and Claudia Harding have donated a staggering £5 million for a new, interactive exhibition that is set to become the world’s foremost gallery of mathematics, which is set to open in 2016.
Aviation is a central theme in the design plan, which Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled in the beginning of September 2014. A light Handley Page airplane will be suspended from the ceiling and the ceiling of the gallery will emulate the turbulence that an aircraft creates while it is flying. The suspended aircraft is a 1929 British experimental aircraft with a 12m wingspan.
The plane that will be suspended from the ceiling was made as part of a competition to design aircraft that could land slowly and steeply without stalling, and required advances in the mathematics of aerodynamics and material stress.
Complex interacting equations, which required extensive research by mathematicians in the aviation industry, were done in order to accomplish the Handley Page airplane design. The design of this aircraft profoundly advanced aeronautical science when civilians started to use air travel as a method of transport. The gallery, which is a wind tunnel for the aircraft, will highlight the significance of this remarkable story.
The aircraft’s aerodynamic turbulence field is showcased through three-dimensional curved surfaces and the curvilinear surfaces convey the complex mathematical ideas that are used to achieve ground-breaking advances within the field of mathematics.
The Independent interviewed Ian Blatchford, director of the London Science Museum, who described the design as extraordinary.
“With this gallery we want to evoke the kind of excitement around mathematics as our Collider exhibition has done around particle physics, and with Zaha Hadid’s extraordinary designs, this project is off to the best start imaginable. This appointment reflects our ambition to deliver the world’s foremost gallery of mathematics, both in its collection and its design,” said Blatchford.
Iraq-born British architect, Zaha Hadid, told Dezeen Magazine: “The design explores the many influences of mathematics in our everyday lives, transforming seemingly abstract mathematical concepts into an exciting interactive experience for visitors of all ages.”
The new mathematics gallery will become a permanent addition to the Science Museum and forms part of a redevelopment that will cost £60 million. The museum has revealed four commissions thus far this year. Other redevelopments include a £24 million suite of medical galleries (which will be created by Wilkinson Eyre), a new £1,8 million library (to be designed by London-based Coffey Architects) as well as an architect and artist collaborative called Muf, who will be designing a million interactive exhibition.
For more information, visit www.independent.co.uk, www.dezeen.com, www.inhabitat.com and Zaha Hadid Architects, to whom full thanks and acknowledgement are given.