Xi’an Aerospace Museum - Duda|Paine Architects
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Xi’an Aerospace Museum

Within the past decades of China’s unprecedented building boom, the ‘wish lists’ of developing cities often include cultural institutions as metaphors for technological progress. The Xi’an Aerospace Museum celebrates the transformation of the ancient Chinese capital and terminus of the Silk Road into a progressive urban center. The design represents the sequential process of discovery—from visual to physical contemplation—with which we have come to understand Space. Sliced at an angle, a platonic sphere opens to the sky. Inside, the arrangement of spaces coincides with the timeline of space exploration. Visitors ascend from below-grade, following orbit-like ramps around the interior of the Sphere. The top of the ramp represents the limits of space exploration to date, where the journey brings visitors to the central Theater Orb and back to the realm of speculation.








Xi'an, China