Science and tech museum to close for major renovations
Shanghai's futuristic museum will undergo its most extensive renovations.
The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, known for its striking architecture and exhibits, will close on April 1 and reopen in 2025.
The museum has been open for two decades and urgently needs repairs. After news emerged of its closure, many people, young and old, visited the museum to reminisce with friends and family.
Last Sunday, in particular, the number of visitors exceeded 10,000, setting a new high in recent days.
Huang Li went into a trance as she took her 3-year-old son to the museum and reminisced about her own visit nearly 20 years ago with her classmates and teachers.
"Time flies by. Nearly two decades have passed in the blink of an eye," she told Thepaper.cn, adding that it was at this museum that she first learned about robots.
But it was "Blow One's Top," an interactive installation, that allowed people to touch a glass ball to have hairs stand up to 200,000 volts of static electricity.
"It was fun," Huang recalled. She expected it to be another boring science class, but it turned out to be a fantastic adventure.
"I'd never been to a museum with so many novel and interactive experiences before."
Many visitors, like her, were born after the late 1980s, and the museum had become a "childhood magical world" or even a "place of enlightenment" to plant scientific seeds in their minds.
One of them is Dr Zhu Jiamin, a well-known expert in advanced materials.
Zhu said the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum was the best science venue in China, with exhibits such as "Blow One's Top," "Cycling in Air," and animal specimens from Africa.
When he was younger, Zhu, a robot fan and maker, regularly attended robot or science contests held at the museum. He would always find something new and conduct his own research after returning home.
"The museum's scientific enlightenment is what made me who I am today," he told shobserver.com. He often took his son to the museum.
The establishment of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum contributed to the early 1990s reform and opening-up of the Pudong New Area.
The first pile was laid on December 18, 1998, at the site at the east end of Century Avenue, which was then a rural backwater of the city. However, it made a spectacular debut in 2001.
The museum hosted the 9th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting on October 21, 2001. It officially opened to the public two months later.
Since then, the museum has hosted a number of notable events, including the Pujiang Innovation Forum and the World Laureates Forum.
It has also continued its meteoric rise to become a world-class scientific landmark and one of the world's most popular museums. It has received over 80 million visitors to date.
Notably, the TEA/AECOM Theme and Museum Index, a reputable industry report on international attractions, has listed it as one of the top 20 museums in the world for seven years.
Furthermore, it has played a leading role in science promotion in the Yangtze River Delta region, as well as integration into the global science community, forming close ties with dozens of world-renowned institutes, universities, and museums.
The latest round of renovations and upgrades will make it smarter, greener, and more advanced.
It will cover fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum science, information technology, aviation technology, life and health, new energy, and new materials.
To achieve cross-border integration of technology, art, and human culture, new technologies such as virtual reality, human-computer interaction, and data visualization will be introduced.
Some of the 13 exhibition zones' current areas will be upgraded, while others will be converted into new themes.
The four cinemas will be upgraded as well. The IMAX Dome Theater and the IMAX 3D Theater, in particular, will transition from traditional film projection to digital projection. The projection system, sound system, and special effects system in the IWERKS 4D Theater and Space Theater will be upgraded.
The tourist service center, museum shop, and tourist restaurant, as well as the roofs, curtain walls, and electromechanical systems of the museum, will be updated to make them more comfortable, smart, and good for the environment.
During the closure, the museum will continue to provide services to the public via online platforms such as its website, WeChat, Douyin, and Bilibili by hosting live shows, lectures, and classes.
Its two sister institutions, the Natural History Museum and the Astronomy Museum in Shanghai, will be open as usual.
March 4, 1996
Approval given to begin construction work on the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.
December 18, 1998
Construction work on the museum begins.
The museum's construction is nearly finished.
October 21, 2001
The 9th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting is held at the museum.
December 18, 2001
The Phase 1 exhibition opens to the public.
May 14, 2005
Phase 2 of the exhibition opens to the public.
March 18, 2010
The museum becomes the first 5A national tourist attraction of its kind in China.
TEA/AECOM 2013 Theme and Museum Index ranked the museum as one of the top 20 museums worldwide for the first time.
March 31, 2023
The last day of operation before it shuts down for the most extensive renovations and upgrades in its history.
The museum will reopen with a new look.