The world’s largest science fiction event Worldcon will take place in the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Under construction, the 59,000 sq. m venue that will host the 81st annual World Science Fiction Convention and the Hugo Awards, is set to become a vibrant center of innovation and gathering place for the “leading incubator of science fiction writing in China”. In fact, the city of Chengdu, home to over 20 million residents, is transforming into an important global center of scientific innovation and research.
Science Fiction: The Latest Architecture and News
Unlike its TV and film counterparts, which imagine the future as an over-populated dystopian nightmare overrun with violence and chaos, Black Mirror paints a picture of a near future that aligns far more with our current reality--and nowhere is this more apparent than in the architecture shown in the series.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, designed by MAD Architects, has broken ground in Los Angeles, California. Founded by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, and standing at the gateway to the city’s Exposition Park, the scheme is envisioned as a “futuristic spaceship” landing on the site’s natural environment.
The building’s interior has been designed as an expansive, open cave, flooded with natural light from skylights above. At least $400 million worth of art will be housed in the museum, including over 10,000 paintings, illustrations and movie memorabilia. The first floor and roof will be designated as public areas for visitors to exercise, relax, and “directly experience nature in the urban environment."
Turn the bend and the foreignness of the thing reveals itself, with its gunmetal-colored facade, surfaces jutting at oblique angles, and curves and lines that suggest automotive racing streaks or cooling pipes at a power-generation facility. It would fit right in with a fleet of Star Destroyers blasting some unfortunate rebel ship with turbolasers. -- The Atlantic Cities’ John Metcalfe, describing Zaha Hadid’s Library and Learning Center in Vienna
When architecture and Sci-Fi are mentioned in the same breath, it’s usually only to achieve an amusing, surface-level comparison. Zaha’s library? A “Star Destroyer.” OMA’s Casa da Música? A Sandcrawler. And while these unlikely likenesses certainly speak to Sci-Fi’s hold on architecture’s imagination, they don’t really delve into the potential Sci-Fi holds as a source of architectural inspiration.
Enter CLOG: SCI-FI. As does each issue of CLOG, SCI:FI “slows things down,” taking a good-hard look at architecture and science fiction’s long, fascinating relationship. And while it certainly provides many entertaining meanders into comics, literature, and film (including a peek into 2001: A Space Odyssey by ArchDaily contributors INTERIORS), SCI:FI really shines when it’s digging below the surface, exploring how both architecture and sci-fi reveal the dilemmas, fears, and desires of our society today.
You would think that of all film genres, Science Fiction would be the one least likely to feature real buildings. It stands to reason that production designers would want to avoid connections with things so grounded in reality. But in fact, there is somewhat of a tradition of using modern architecture as a foundation for the creation of fictional film worlds.
Science fiction relies on an audience believing in the world they are presented with. Clever camera work, perspective design, and temporary materials can only do so much. What often tips the balance in favour of using real, Modern buildings - rather than a temporary set - is the authenticity and atmosphere they provide the Science Fiction genre.
Read about Modern architecture in Sci-Fi films Blade Runner, Gattaca, Aeon Flux, and more, after the break...