A new gallery Mathematics: The Winton Gallery’ in London’s Science Museum. Let’s see the details of London’s Science Museum Uncovers Zaha Hadid Designed Gallery.
‘Mathematics: The Winton Gallery’ is the world’s only perpetual public exhibition designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.
Inspired by aerodynamics – with the revolutionary Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’ aeroplane rising through its midst – the gallery architecture slides down onto the displays, its swooping voluminous curves wrapping up the objects into a valid case history on how mathematics is the pivot of our human world.
The architects worked with curator David Rooney to design the gallery around 100 artefacts selected from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics collections.
A proportional pod-like structure made of fabric with a frame of powder-coated aluminium covers existing columns in the gallery, creating a central seating area and wrapping itself around display cases all lit by a soft and eerie glow, which fades from yellow to pink to light purple.
The form follows the flow of air that would have waved around the Gugnunc, which was built in 1929 in Britain – then the safest aeroplane for human travel, performing a crucial role in opening up accessible aviation to the world.
Other tools enveloped in the architecture include a 17th-century Islamic astrolabe and Wisard pattern-recognition machine – an early artificial intelligence device. Both help us learn how maths has been intertwined into the human experience over the past four centuries, from travel to astronomy to psychology, improving our lives and predicting our future while gradually counting the days and years until we die.
The range of objects in the gallery spans classical architecture to furniture design to an early example of the code-breaking Enigma machine. Pictured, Shizuo Ishiguro’s Electronic North Sea Model, 1960.
The architects used computational fluid dynamics to translate the equations of airflow into the shapes of the forms, and robotic production was used to create the curved benches. Mathematics was a subject that was meaningful to the late Dame Zaha Hadid, who studied it at university, experimenting with geometry both technically and creatively.
Exhibiting maths in a new, almost alien, light, ‘Mathematics: The Winton Gallery’ is the world’s only continual public exhibition designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Thanks to principal support from philanthropists David and Claudia Harding, as well as sponsors Samsung and MathWorks, the gallery is free for all to visit.
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