MUSE Science Museum Opens In Italy

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 06:29
Italy’s newest science museum, the Museo delle Scienze (MUSE), was inaugurated on 27 July. Located in Trento in the Dolomites, the museum is designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, who is known for creating Western Europe’s tallest skyscraper, The Shard in London. Piano said of MUSE: “We’ve spent a decade on this project, from the museum to the regeneration and re-envisioning of the district. In Italian terms, it’s a miracle that the project has been accomplished so smoothly, without a slip up, thanks to superb teamwork.” The development of the cutting-edge museum has led to the regeneration of an old industrial district. The museum sits at the heart of a new urban park, a residential and entertainment zone that will reshape Trento. The project also reconnects the city with its mountainous landscape. The futuristic building is a standard-bearer for renewable energy, using solar panels, rainwater cisterns and geothermal energy. Piano says: “We use two-thirds less energy than normal.” MUSE is expected to become a major visitor attraction and is also a research centre. It uses multimedia to explore topics from the birth of the solar system to Alpine eco-systems, sustainability and global warming. It adopts a hands-on approach to science and the jagged peak of a building is designed to be explored vertically. Visits start at the top, as if on a mountain, and descend to the rainforest below, with the idea that visitors can learn how habitats change according to altitude. Visitors can expect a sensory journey through science and nature, as they can touch a glacier, walk through a tropical greenhouse, listen to the sounds of the rainforest, see how it feels to leap from a rock face on a paraglider and feel as if they are hurtling down snowy slopes like an extreme skier. The exhibition traces life in the Dolomites from the days of the dinosaurs, featuring fossils, rock paintings and prehistoric footprints found in situ.