Maths gallery designed by ZHA opens in London

Zaha Hadid Architects has completed a new gallery for London’s Science Museum, which is modelled on a wind tunnel for a 1920s aircraft.

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery is the first UK project by Zaha Hadid Architects to open its doors since the firm’s figurehead died earlier this year.

The gallery was created to host over 100 objects from the museum’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics collections. These objects show how mathematics impacts the world, from trade to travel and architectural form.

Suspended from the ceiling is a 1929 Handley Page Gugnunc aircraft – the inspiration for the gallery’s design.

Huge three-dimensional curls form a canopy over the space, based on the air flows that would have surrounded the aircraft in flight. The translucent, undulating forms are illuminated by violet light.

The Gugnunc’s wing design was influenced by pioneering aerodynamic research, and is used in the gallery to illustrate how mathematics can be used to solve practical issues.