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Competition: Shenzhen Natural History Museum

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Shenzhen Municipality has launched an international competition to design a 2.1 billion yuan (£240 million) natural history museum

The winning team will receive 40 million yuan (£4.6 million) to design and deliver a natural history museum on a picturesque 42,000m² site close to Yanzi Hill and Pingshan River within the Yanzi Lake area of Shenzhen’s suburban Pingshan district. The 100,000m² scheme is one of 10 major new cultural venues planned for the rapidly growing city.

The building will feature exhibition spaces, storage areas, science education facilities, research spaces, an astronomical observatory and outdoor parkland.

Six practices have been pre-invited to participate in the competition: London’s Grimshaw, Sou Fujimoto of Japan, BIG of Copenhagen, Paris-based Dominique Perrault Architecture, CCTN Design of China, and Taiwan’s Artech Architects & Designers.

In its brief, the municipality says that the museum ‘aims to be leading in China and first-class in the world, interpreting the laws of natural evolution, showing the “geographies of Shenzhen and its ecology in a global perspective”. It is to become a natural history museum “to actively advocate science.”

‘Shenzhen Natural History Museum will be located in the Yanzi Lake area, which is the geographic centre of Pingshan District on the southeast side of downtown of Pingshan. It is close to Pingshan central park, library, art museum and other public service facilities. The area – filled with unique natural elements such as Yanzi Hill, Pingshan River, wetlands and forests – is an important space for the upgrading and transformation of Pingshan Central District.’

Shenzhen is a major Pearl River Delta city, just north of Hong Kong. It grew rapidly following its designation as China’s first special economic zone in 1979 and has a population of around 11.9 million.

The latest competition comes a year after Foster + Partners won an international contest for a new headquarters for China Merchants Bank nearby.

In January, Shenzhen Municipality launched a contest for a landmark new 167,000m² waterfront opera house on a 17.5ha site close to the Shenzhen Bay Bridge, which connects the mainland China settlement to Hong Kong.

Applications to the latest competition can be in English or Chinese and teams may include up to three team members. 

Nine shortlisted teams will join the six invited teams to participate in the design phase of the competition. Three finalists will receive honorariums to further develop their concepts. The overall winner will be announced in August.

The deadline for applications is 5pm local time on 6 May.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: competition@archiposition.com

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