China Building World's First Drive-Through Auto Museum
by KBB.com Editors | October 20, 2009 1:37 PM
It may be the ultimate car-guy's dream, a place that engages man and machine in a way that its creator characterizes as replicating a "motorized safari in an urban environment." Set for completion prior to the upcoming World Expo 2010, the Automobile Museum in Nanjing will permit visitors to drive their own vehicles to its upper level via an undulating road-like path lined with some of its many external displays and then travel back down inside of the exhibit hall on foot for a closer look at the rest before heading back to the roof via elevator when it's time to depart. The 161,500 square-foot Automobile Museum was the brainchild of Italian designer Francisco Gatti, whose 3Gatti.com Architecture Studio has locations in both Rome and Shanghai. Its striking appearance, highlighted by sharply angled exterior elements, embodies the visual character of a Japanese origami folded-paper sculpture. Sponsored in part by the local Nanjing government, the Automobile Museum will also contain a host of related commercial elements, including restaurants and shops, a special events space, automobile sales offices, a design center and research laboratories, all of which will be accessible to visitors.