#donotsettle Gives a Critical Tour of Perkins+Will’s Shanghai Natural History Museum

In #donotsettle’s latest escapade, architect Kris Provoost scrutinizes Perkins+Will’s Shanghai Natural History Museum. The boyishly charming and ever-inquisitive vlogger presents a unique POV tour of the unusual building situated in the middle of the Jing’an Sculpture Park.

Over a soundtrack of slick house music, Provoost offers up tidbits that cannot be gleaned from a photo. As he approaches the structure, he points out topographical aspects, the relationship of the structure to its context, and various construction details. The rapid-fire architectural observations are often punctuated by brief cross-sectional sketches that augment the experiential commentary.


© James and Connor Steinkamp

© James and Connor Steinkamp

Provoost is immediately taken aback by the exteriors’ clever multifaceted facade,  quickly confirming the photogenic museum as highly “instagrammable.” But while the stunning subterranean structure pulls natural light into the gallery through a curving atrium, the building’s interior proves to be comparatively underwhelming and uncomfortably noisy. Provoost recaps the outing by lamenting over the bureaucratic barriers of the space: “The main architectural ideas are this roof and this pit here. And both of them cannot be entered as a visitor. That’s so China. The architecture never comes to its full potential here.”

Shanghai Natural History Museum / Perkins+Will

Read more about the project on ArchDaily here.

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