Phaeno Science Centre, Germany by Zaha Hadid Architects

phaeno science centre

Phaeno Science Centre

LOCATION: Wolfsburg, Germany

ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid Architects

AREA: 12,000m2

YEAR: 2005


Image ©Inexhibit


Phaeno Science Centre is an interactive science centre located in the centre of the city of Wolfsburg. The centre breaks the monotony of the cultural buildings by Aalto, Scharoun and Schweger. It is also a connecting link to the north bank of the Mittelland Kanal. The structure of the centre appears as a mysterious object, giving rise to curiosity and discovery. On the whole, the Phaeno Science Centre was first of its kind in Germany.


Since the main volume- Exhibition Hall raises above the ground, therefore it helps in maintaining a large degree of transparent and porosity on the ground. In other words, described as ‘an architectural adventure playground’ and ‘the magic box’.

As Zaha Hadid said, “To create an urban field on the ground, with an object above, was a rare opportunity for us”.

Phaeno creates a complex, fluid and dynamic space. It’s gentle undulating artificial hills and valleys are present below the main elevated structure.

basement phaen science centre
Image ©Zaha Hadid Architects


The building allows people to walk under and up by a part of the pavement to get inside. Elsewhere, the low floor and takes visitors on a public square. Moreover, the building has a series of large inverted cone-shaped with rounded corners that act as feet and gives the effect of weightlessness. The largest of these cones approached via a staircase to the main exhibition floor.

The structure features a library, a conference room and an auditorium for 250 people. Secondly, on the exhibition floor, Zaha Hadid provided distorted ceilings and walls seem to merge with the emphasis on appearance spacecraft perceived inside and outside the workplace.

The interior of the structure has irregular and articulation of space, where there is a clear division of planes and spaces, but sudden openings between a wall and the other empty and referrals from unexpected perspectives. A panoramic view of landscape gets perceived through the large glass surface.

The architecture of the Phaeno Science Centre involves the visitors, immediately absorbing them into an almost vibrating interior, which again and again creates surprising perspectives and unexpected relationships.

The area of the science centre is 12,000m2 and with the parking space beneath the centre which has an area of 15,000m2.


Image ©Zaha Hadid Architects


Image ©Zaha Hadid Architects


The structure is made of reinforced concrete. Also, some areas use a large glazed curtain. Likewise, it uses 27 thousand cubic meters of cement and 3500 steel beams. Moreover, a skylight is provided within the structure.

Image ©Zaha Hadid Architects


Image ©Zaha Hadid Architects


Also, to know more about the projects of Zaha Hadid, click here

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