Zaha Hadid Architects has completed the new mathematics gallery for London’s Science Museum. Mathematics: The Winton Gallery, as it is called officially, is modelled on a wind tunnel for a 1920s aircraft and the first project in Britain by the renowned practice since the death of its Iraqi-born founder Zaha Hadid. Architect and Senior Associate Bidisha Sinha consulted Bolidt for input on realising the extraordinary and highly complex gallery flooring.
The history of London’s Science Museum dates back more than 150 years. That is how long inspiring stories about the history, present and future of science, technology, engineering, medical science, architecture, design and industry have been taking centre stage here. The museum in South Kensington attracts millions of visitors every year.
Head Curator David Rooney: “The mathematics gallery was opened in the early seventies and in need of an update. We asked Zaha Hadid Architects to develop a completely new interior and presentation befitting the 21st century. The architecture, design and experience of The Winton Gallery are inherently mathematical in nature. The architects have designed the space as a wind tunnel, with a Handley Page aircraft suspended in the centre of the gallery. Based on mathematical equations, everything in the space represents the lines of air that would have flowed around this aircraft, from the three-dimensional structures to the gallery floor. The gallery thus tells appealing mathematical stories, while the space is a mathematical object itself.”
Because mathematics is central to the design, its execution required incredible precision; geometrical shapes, surfaces and finishes. The flooring also presented a major challenge, which Bolidt’s specialists were happy to take on.
Bolidt advised Zaha Hadid Architects and showed them that every dream in synthetics can become reality. In both technical and design aspects, Bolidt provided input on how to bring the complex airflow design to life within the floor finish. To guarantee optimum quality, the flooring was installed by Bolidt’s own specialist application teams. Durability was another key priority, as the beautiful finish will be exposed to the feet of millions of visitors each year.
David Rooney is impressed with the result: “Our ambitions are bold. With our new gallery, we want to change the world. It is our aim to change how visitors relate to mathematics by presenting it as a part of our everyday lives, rather than as an abstract concept formulated by others. We want to show how important mathematics is and inspire young people to study mathematics.” A great ambition, to which Bolidt is proud to have been able to contribute in the form of the gallery’s remarkable and very complex synthetic floor finish.
Museums and theatres are not unfamiliar territory to Bolidt. Bolidt has built up a strong reputation as a team player in this field and enjoys collaborating with customers to show them how the right ambiance can be created with special colour schemes and combinations. Recent projects of Bolidt include the Groninger Forum and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.Request a brochure
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