The Science Museum in London announced today that Zaha Hadid Architects will design its new Mathematics Gallery, which will showcase the history and advances in the field of mathematics. The gallery will feature a 1929 Handley Page biplane, and the design of the gallery will reflect the turbulence field generated by the plane through the three-dimensional curved surfaces of display cases and exhibition modules. These curvilinear surfaces will serve as physical embodiments of the abstract subject of aeronautics vector fields.

View from East gallery entrance.
Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects View from East gallery entrance.


“The design explores the many influences of mathematics in our everyday lives,” Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA, said in a release. “[It transforms] seemingly abstract mathematical concepts into an exciting interactive experience for visitors of all ages.”

The gallery itself will include three nebulous zones to divide the collection into sections related to mathematicians, mathematical applications, and tools used in the investigation of mathematical ideas.

Plan Diagram of the Mathematics Gallery - its arrangement follows the Handley Page aeroplane exhibit's turbulence field.
Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects Plan Diagram of the Mathematics Gallery - its arrangement follows the Handley Page aeroplane exhibit's turbulence field.


“With Zaha Hadid’s extraordinary designs, this project is off to the best start imaginable,” Science Museum director Ian Blatchford said in a release. “This appointment reflects our ambition to deliver the world’s foremost gallery of mathematics both in its collection and its design.”

The Science Museum expects to open its Mathematics Gallery in 2016. The new gallery—which was made possible by a £5 million ($8.1 million) gift from museum supporters David and Claudia Harding—will open with an exhibition curated by David Rooney.

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