Planetarium in progress

We were rocketed away when Ennead Architects revealed its stellar plans for the Shanghai Planetarium back in 2016. A couple of years later, construction of the world’s largest planetarium theatre is in full swing...

Set to complete in 2020, the planetarium is now taking shape. The building revolves around three central forms – the Oculus, the Inverted Dome and the Sphere. Here we see how the shapes of the forms reflect planets orbiting in space. Thomas Wong, lead designer of the building and design partner at Ennead Architects, wanted the architecture to connect the purpose of the building to its historical context. ‘The use of the building to manipulate sunlight and demonstrate this most basic astronomical principle connects the modern museum with historic structures that act in similar ways: the Great Pyramids at Giza, Angkor Wat, Jantar Mantar, the Mayan Temples at Chichen Itza,’ Wong explains.

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).