Future Watch



The Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki revealed early designs for China‘s “first major design museum”, a project in the Shekou district of Shenzhen commissioned by China Merchants Group (CMG) in collaboration with London’s V&A Museum. The Japanese architect unveiled models to coincide with the formal signing of an agreement between the V&A and the Chinese development company. The developers and the V&A claim it will be China’s first major design institution, piping to the post the Herzog & de Meuron-designed M+ museum of visual culture in Hong Kong. Due to open at the end of 2016, the Shekou Museum is part of Maki’s Shenzen Sea World Cultural Arts Centre project, which is already under construction. It will host a permanent gallery space for the London institution as well as offer additional space for it to present major exhibitions. Model images released by Maki’s studio show a four-storey building with three projecting volumes and a grand external staircase. Featuring three severely cantilevered volumes that extend from a low sitting stage, the Shekou Museum will offer four stories of presentation spaces. A stairway on corner of the external surface leads visitors towards the tops of the plain of the three expecting structures which open up onto an open green zone; from which to get a kick out of points of view of the nearby via ocean. Flat roofs will host gardens and public terraces, while the entrance area of the concrete and steel structure will feature a triple-height glazed atrium. In a statement released, the V&A said it had signed a collaboration agreement to support China Merchants Group with its plan to develop “the first major museum of design in China”. The new design museum located in Shenzhen aims to promote Chinese design to an international audience, as well as present the best international design in China. It will advise the Chinese museum in the development of its own collections and train its senior management team, with a senior V&A curator. The curator of the M+ Aric Chen said that he would not be duplicating the efforts of other museums like the V&A, which tended to put Asian design on the periphery. “I see our Hong Kong perspective as being something very organic, natural, and hence perhaps more authentic,” said Chen.


An oval museum filled with robots and other technological inventions has been scheduled for construction in Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, revealed plans for the Museum of the Future – an institution dedicated to innovation in design and technology.

The Dubai ruler said that the museum will be a destination for the best and brightest inventors and entrepreneurs, offering an integrated environment empowering creative minds to test, fund and market ideas for futuristic prototypes and services.

Set for completion in 2017, the museum will be located beside the Emirates Towers on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road. The name of the architect has not yet been revealed.

A two-minute movie fly-through reveals designs for a hollow oval structure, with a holographic billboard at its centre. Steel panels will clad its exterior, inscribed with some of Sheikh Mohammed’s Arabic poetry. Large sections of the structure are also expected to be built using 3D-printed components.

The building’s motto will be “See the future, create the future”. It is expected to bring together inventors, designers and researchers, presenting a range of technologies in automotives, robotics, genetics and more.

The Museum of the Future will be an incubator for ideas and real designs, a driver for innovation and a global destination for inventors and entrepreneurs. The world is entering a new era of accelerated knowledge and great technological revolutions. UAE aims to lead in the era, not to follow and lag behind. The Museum of the Future is the first step of many to come, marking the beginning of great achievements.

The museum will be located a short drive away from the 828-metre-high Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest built structure.

Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, Switzerland

The Musée Atelier’s spiral-shaped pavilion, designed by BIG and realised by the Swiss architecture office CCHE, seamlessly rises on walls of structural curved glass. A feat of engineering and design, it is the first construction of its kind to be built at such altitude. The curved glazing entirely supports the steel roof, while a brass mesh runs along the external surface to regulate light and temperature. The green roof further helps regulate temperature, while absorbing water.

In the light-filled new building, ATELIER BRÜCKNER has incorporated a rhythmically flowing route through the exhibition. It starts in the historic building and, going in a clockwise direction, slopes gently down into the heart of the spiral, after which it rises again on the contrary direction – filled with energy like the springs of a watch. Visitors experience the route as a flowing continuum with a composed narration. Each chapter has its own design language and is introduced by an interlude, a mechanical sculpture, or an artistically designed display item. The showcases are positioned within the architecture precisely.

At the centre of the architecture and the exhibition, there is a single watch that has an incredible 21 complications: the “Universelle” is the most complicated watch that Audemars Piguet has ever created. It is presented in a glass sphere, whereby the front and rear are shown as equally valuable views. Eight other watches with Grande Complications are placed around the “Universelle”. The design is reminiscent of a solar system with planets rotating around a sun on their orbits. After all, astronomic cycles are what determine the essence of watchmaking.

The spiral has been designed to perfectly integrate the surrounding landscape. The floors follow different slants to adapt to the natural gradient of the land and provide the basis of the museum’s inner layout stretched into a linear continuous spatial experience. Inside, the curved glass walls converge clockwise towards the spiral’s centre, before moving in the opposite direction: visitors travel through the building as they would through the spring of a timepiece.