Shanghai Natural History Museum

Shanghai Natural History Museum

Shanghai Natural History Museum (a branch of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum) is located within Jing’an Sculpture Park in the City of Shanghai. The building area is 45,257m2, and 32,200m2 is given over to exhibitions, education and service. An annual total of 800,000 to 1.2 million visitors is anticipated. The Museum will be an important Shanghai center for the popularization of science and a platform for social and cultural exchange.

The design of the Museum building is inspired by the structure of a snail’s shell. Layers of green plants spiral upwards, rising from the interior of the park, and the building, which gives the impression of being both stable and dynamic, is just like a green snail. The design is human-centered, and incorporates a landscape garden style using natural ecology methods. The 160 species of plants in the central landscape area are distributed in islands, and like primeval forest combine with five lakes of different sizes to make a landscape garden which pays conscious tribute to China’s architectural traditions. The layers of greenery used in the structure have an excellent insulating effect, saving up to 240,000 kWh per year. The “green snail” itself also boasts 7 major green features: energy-saving and environmental construction, energy-saving air-conditioning, comprehensive use of solar energy, air distribution in the large public areas, natural optical wave-guide technology, a rainwater collection system, and an environmental and energy-saving central management platform. These seven systematic features along with the overall structure qualify the Museum as a “green building” under the national Green Building Evaluation Standards star system.

The Shanghai Natural History Museum has “Nature, Humans, Harmony” as its central theme. Following three main threads, “The Symphony of Evolution”, “The Picture Scroll of Life” and “The Historical Epic of Civilization”, it presents 10 permanent displays: Mysterious Beginnings, The River of Life, Ways of Evolution, Earth Treasures, Colorful Life, Ecological Diversity, Survival Skills, Tied to Earth, Shanghai Environs, and Future Pathways. These are supported by a complete set of functional areas including lobbies, 4D theaters and Exploration Labs. Over 11000 specimens and models are displayed, taken from all 7 continents, and among them there are nearly one thousand specimens of rare species; a walk-in scene of almost 1500 m2 recreates the pulsating “African Savannah”; a large-scale specimen display called “A Meeting Across Space and Time” brings together over 200 flora and fauna celebrities from past and present, China and abroad; the Theater of Cretaceous Escape and 4 other immersion Theaters represent major events of evolutionary history; 26 “Window of Nature” habitat boxes honor the traditional exhibition responsibilities of a natural history museum; 400 visual devices and 1 online museum system serve the needs of the public in this media age; 1500 scientific drawings put on direct view the integration of art and science; 300 m2 of live cultivation bring nature within immediate reach; 1200 m2 of “Exploration Labs” furnish a paradise for hands-on discovery, experimental observation and talk and discussion; an “Epic of Nature” multimedia show offers a visual banquet where science and technology, art and the humanities are combined.

The Shanghai Natural History Museum has over 280,000 items in its collections, including objects from the natural world and human historical relics. These pieces come from East China, from China as a whole, and from every part of the world. They fall into 5 major categories, botany, zoology, paleobiology, geology and anthropology. There are over 150,000 botanical specimens, and over 4,000 mammal pieces. Fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles have over 1000 pieces each, insects nearly 33,000, and other invertebrates over 5,000. There are over 5,000 geological specimens, over 8,000 paleobiological specimens, and over 3,500 pieces of anthropology and folk culture.

Start on your journey through Nature, discover Nature’s beauties, and understand Nature’s truths. This is the place to begin – Shanghai Natural History Museum.


No. 399 Shanhaiguan Road, Jingan District, Shanghai


By Subway:

Take Line 11 and get off at Shanghai Natural History Museum Station. Go out via Exit 1.

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