In 1997, Netherlands’ largest ever science center was inaugurated by Queen Beatrix. By doing so, she threw the doors open wide of an incomparable place in the city of Amsterdam. It was christened NEMO, meaning ‘no one’ and consists of five floors filled with scientific as well as technological objects to be discovered and to experiment with. More than 10 years have passed by since its establishment and NEMO continues to prove that science can be captivating. This unique Science Center lets you come to terms with science/ technology in a way that is both fun and immensely educational.
A mammoth green structure, designed by the noted Italian architect Renzo Piano, NEMO is compared to an ocean liner, built right over the IJ Tunnel. It is situated only a short walk away from the Central Station of Amsterdam.
Building above the IJ Tunnel has meant that not only does the tunnel act as the building’s foundations, during construction, the curve in the tunnel also became the curve in the building. A building, which seems to rise above the water necessitates a curved appearance of a ship’s bow. All these curved forms in turn dictate a covering which should be both malleable and flexible. This is exactly why, copper was opted for and the metal also blends with the roofs of the many adjoining buildings in their historical ambience.
Piano decided a roof terrace to be built so that visitors could admire the surroundings. This is because Amsterdam lacked a ‘piazza,’ an elevated standpoint from where people can a have a glimpse over the fine city.
NEMO’s striking appearance holds within itself an interior termed as a ‘noble factory, ’sporting neutral gray walls with visible piping and wiring. The staircase is built to achieve optimum orientation. The whole emphasis is on NEMO’s internal function of an arena filled with things to do as well as to discover in the fields of science/technology. What take the center stage are the exhibits, with visitors attracted from one to the next in a constant continuum. There are no windows to distract them from the exhibits, in the vastly different world that they have suddenly stepped into.
The more important of NEMO’s permanent exhibits include, ‘Space shower’ with its emphasis on Cosmic Rays, ‘Search for life,’ meaning extra terrestrial life, ‘Everyone electric, ‘depicting the electric transport of the future, ‘Codename DNA,’ how DNA works within one’s body, ‘Phenomena,’ ordinary and extraordinary natural phenomena, ‘Teen facts’ explaining the physiology of teenage, and ‘Future fuel,’ with hydrogen the fuel of the future.
On the whole, a visit to NEMO can be the most unforgettable experience of a lifetime. For more info visit https://www.e-nemo.nl/