Macau, China, 22 Jan – The Macao Science Center (MSC) designed by famous US-Chinese architect Ieoh Ming Pei and his two sons’ Pei Partnership Architects will be open next Monday after more than 4 years of work.
At a cost of 337 million patacas (US$ 42.13 million) the MSC is located at the waterfront next to the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf and the Macau Cultural Centre (CCM).
The centre strives to stimulate and cultivate students’ interest in science and enhance public understanding of science and technology through interactive exhibitions and programs offered at its planetarium, as well as to become a regional tourist attraction that combines learning, leisure and entertainment, the press conference underlined.
With its state-of-the-art auditorium and other facilities suitable for hosting meetings, conferences, seminars and other events, the MSC will also serve as a convention centre.
Covering a gross floor area of 20,000 square metres, the MSC comprises the Exhibition Centre, Planetarium and Convention Centre.
The 5,800-square-metre Exhibition Centre, in the shape of an inclined cone, contains 14 galleries arranged in an upward spiral, accommodating some 450 interactive exhibits that cover topics like space science, fun science, children’s science, robotics, earth sciences, meteorology, eco conservation and food science.
This building is accentuated by an arch-shaped glass observation deck with a 180-degree view and a scenic pavilion.
The dome-shaped Planetarium is flanked by the fan-shaped Convention Centre and an office building, while the science centre also boasts several supporting facilities that include a gift shop and a restaurant.
The 135-seat Planetarium, in particular, is the world’s only facility of its kind that combines ultra-high definition (8k x 8k) and 3D visual effects, with all pre-recorded shows aired in Cantonese, Putonghua, Portuguese and English.
The Planetarium is also one of only three in the world that features ultra-high definition – the other two planetariums are located in Hong Kong and Beijing. The highest definition featured at other planetariums elsewhere across the world is 4k X 4k.
The MSC’s Convention Centre includes a multi-functional convention hall that can accommodate up to 500 people as well as four meeting rooms.
There will also be one gallery dedicated to educating visitors on the historical role Macau has played in the development of scientific knowledge and current research being undertaken here in the territory
The MSC was inaugurated in December by China’s President Hu Jintao.
Macau’s then chief executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah announced in 2002 the intention to set up the MSC.