Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg

Willy-Brandt-Platz 1 , Wolfsburg
Niedersachsen, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 5361 / 890 100
closed on: Mondays + Christmas and New Year's day
Museum Type: Science & Technology
Phæno-Science Center Wolfsburg

Phaeno is a science center in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, dedicated to physical phenomena and housed in a futuristic building designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Opened in 2005, the Phaeno building soon became a landmark in Wolfsburg due to its impressive appearance which resembles that of a spaceship that just landed in the city. The name “Phaeno” is an allusion to those natural phenomena (Phänomene in German) the museum is focused on.

The 27,000 square-meter / 290,000 square-foot building of the center was designed by Zaha Hadid as a fluid construction ” which is structured in a way that maximizes its transparency and porosity – with the main volume, housing the exhibition space, raised and covering an outdoor public plaza “.

The main exhibition level is raised about 8 meters / 26 feet over the ground, thus creating a covered plaza at the street level in a way similar to the Museu Blau designed in Barcelona by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron roughly in the same period.

Phaeno science center Wolfsburg Zaha Hadid 3

Phaeno science center Wolfsburg Zaha Hadid 1

Phaeno, view from the south, and covered plaza; photos © Werner Hutchmacher

Phaeno Wolfsburg Zaha Hadid south elevation drawing

Phaeno Wolfsburg Zaha Hadid longitudinal section drawing

Phaeno Wolfsburg, south elevation and longitudinal section drawings; courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Phaeno Wolfsburg Zaha Hadid concourse plan

Concourse plan; courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Phaeno science center Wolfsburg Zaha Hadid 4

One of the conic columns which support the gallery level; photo © Hélène Binet 


Photo Klemens Ortmeyer

The permanent exhibition of the Phaeno Science Center is dedicated to nature, physics, and earth sciences, presented through 350 interactive exhibits and experimental stations which illustrate various themes, such as tornados, geysers, laser light, luminous gases, gravity, and so on.
The exhibits, very spectacular although scientifically accurate, are particularly aimed at children and families.
The vast program of activities includes temporary exhibitions and special events.

Phaeno science center Wolfsburg Zaha Hadid 2

Photo courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects

Fire tornado Phaeno science center Wolfsburg

The installation “Fire tornado”; photo Lars Landmann

Lasershow Phaeno science center Wolfsburg

“Lasershow” installation; photo Matthias Leitzke

The center also includes workshops, a visitor laboratory, a science theater, a bistro, and a shop. Phaeno is fully accessible to people with disabilities.

Cover image by Klemens Ortmeyer, courtesy of Phaeno

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