Solar Tower Museum

Museum design for Sun Hung Kai

Understanding the Sun and its inner workings is no easy task. It was our challenge to present this massive subject in a concise and informative, yet engaging, manner. To do so, we used a mix of digital and analogue interactive tools, making for a hands-on and entertaining experience.

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The challenge

The design team was new to the subject, so we needed to conduct substantial research to support the content development process. The exhibits and narrative had to cater for a wide range of audiences – from primary school children to physics academics. Therefore, we had to devise an approach that would make the content easy to understand, yet knowledgeable and sophisticated in tone.

Our Approach

We communicated the scientific information by focusing on the scale involved, zooming in from universes and star systems to the Sun, and then continuing all the way to subatomic measurements. The journey was divided into eight sections that complemented the architectural design and each section focused on tactile and kinetic touch points to explain the scientific information.

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The Milky Way interactive display and Space Travel Portal allowed visitors to explore the Milky Way, virtually travel through the Solar System and learn interesting facts about the planets.

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A live image of the Sun from the Solarscope allowed visitors to have a close look at the Sun’s activity in real time. We used optics designed for research being conducted by the Solar Tower to capture and display the Sun’s light. By bringing real sunlight into the exhibition, we linked our physical reality to the more abstract concepts discussed in the displays.

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Interactive displays make it easier to understand complex scientific concepts. In this case, the use of filters to focus on the visible and invisible spectrums of the Sun is demonstrated by turning a wheel that reveals and hides information.

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We injected the displays with artistic, as well as educational, messages. The explanations of the color absorption spectrum seen on the wall panels above become even more interesting as the small icons and details of the design are seen up close.

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The artistic content included establishing an illustration style for the museum that conveys accurate information in a friendly manner. All of the graphics in the space were developed specifically for the Solar Tower exhibits.

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The massive structure in the atrium space at the centre is more than an eye-catching sculpture. It serves as an analogy of the Sun being at the centre of our life. With the design and content being done by a single team, each element is embedded with meaning, while being part of the overall design.