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The MUSE of Trento is a dream come true, that of an active place, attractive, memorable, and based on the model of science centers and museums with international multimedia exhibits, interactive games, experimentation in first person and a twist of "know" and "do".

 

The history of the Muse

The roots

The roots of the Museum of Sciences intersect with the antique book sets by the Trentian notablies who, at the end of the '700 enriched with naturalist objects the historical-artistic museum at the Town Hall. At the end of the '800 the natural-history collections were stored together with those of other types at the palazzo Thun, the current municipal building. In 1922  the civic museum of natural history in Trento was founded on the top floor of the palace of via Verdi, today, the seat of the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Trento.

In 1964, the Trentian Museum of natural sciences was established, administratively linked to the autonomous Province of Trento. In 1982 the Museum moved to the seat of via Calepina, in the historic Palazzo Sardagna.

 

The nineties

In 1992, the exhibition "Dinosaurs, il mondo dei dinosauri" recorded more than fifty thousand in attendance in only two months of being opening, drawing visitors from outside the provincial boundaries. The '90s marked a "new course" with productions and interactive exhibits, in the wake of modern science center and a new generation of researchers that receive the success of European Community funding in the field of environmental research. The new role of the museum in the area of research was presented in 1997 with the temporary exhibition "Il Museo studia le Alpi". 

In 2000 the exhibition "Il Diluvio universale" reveals a change in the conception of museum, conceived on the interaction and experimentation and on a solid educational program.

 

The territorial headquarters

In this phase, the museum expanded by incorporating reality linked to the seat of Trento but located in the territory, in places of natural and touristic interest: among these the historic Viote Alpine Botanic Garden, the neighboring Terrace of the Stars, the Museum of the Palafitte of Ledro lake, the Museo of the Aeronautica Gianni Caproni, the Geological Museum of the Dolomites of Predazzo, the Limnological Station of Tovel Lake.

 

Project MUSE

The increasing activity in spaces outside of the main location, together with the strengthening of temporary initiatives, has brought the inevitable crowding of the set-up, installations and public. The beginning of the 2000s marks a situation of suffering for lack of space and perspective. It is the right time for the project MUSE, the Science Museum. So a "feasibility study for a new science museum in Trentino", done in 2002-2003 by museum on behalf of the cultural activities Service of the autonomous Province of Trento and, in 2005, the next cultural Plan. More than fifty qualified national and international experts and numerous citizens were involved in the drafting of these documents, that contributed to the definition of content in various focus groups and opportunities for discussion. Approved by the provincial government in 2006, the cultural plan translates into an architectural project entrusted to the signature of Renzo Piano, who designs the building and assumed the artistic direction of the staging. The new MUSE - the Science Museum opens to the public in its new headquarters, within the area of urban regeneration in the district Le Albere, the 27th of July 2013.

 

The characteristics

The most evident characteristic of the building designed by Renzo Piano is the evolution of the roofing, simulating the lies of mountain slopes. The MUSE extends in the floor plan to a maximum length (East/West) of 130 m above ground and a maximum width (North/South) of 35 m. Its functions develop in two underground floors and five floors above ground (including the ground floor). All the above ground floors, plus the -1, have functions destined both for the public and administrative activities, service and research. The architectural idea comes from the search for a proper middle ground between the need for flexibility and response, consistent and accurate in its forms, to the scientific contents of the cultural project. 

A museum in which the great themes of the exhibition are also recognizable in the form and in the volumes, while maintaining a wide flexibility in the preparation of spaces, typical of a new generation museum. The building consists of a succession of spaces and volumes of solids and voids, laid on a large mirror of water on which it seem to float, multiplying the effects and the vibrations of light and shadows. The whole is held together at the top, from the large flaps of the coverage that are suitable all the forms, becoming a strong element of recognizability.

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