Shanghai Film Museum

Museum Design

Unlike any other type of museum, a film museum connects to people’s personal lives and memories. Under the Art Direction of Tilman Thürmer, COORDINATION ASIA created a museum experience for the new Shanghai Film Museum that is driven by interaction and dialogue, and that allows visitors to be an active participant in the story of Shanghai Film.

Over 15,000 sqm this museum will share the story of Shanghai filmmaking, from its magical beginning in 1896 until present day’s 3D blockbusters. Located in a former film studio in Shanghai’s downtown Xujiahui, the new museum boasts 4 floors, over 70 interactive installations and a collection of 3,000 historic exhibits. As the first film museum in the city, the museum will have a leading role in maintaining the international position of Shanghai film and raising awareness for the industry’s value on a national level.

Be it by dubbing classical films in a real sound studio, walking through a lifelike film set on Shanghai’s famous Nanjing Road or by becoming a star on the ‘Carpet of Lights’, where virtual fans and photographers flash their camera’s trying to capture the ‘celebrity’ that just passed by; in the Shanghai Film Museum the visitor becomes a part of film and is invited to actively participate in it. This key concept of inclusion in the world of film is the red thread through the Shanghai Film Museum, which seamlessly integrates historical relics in an interactive environment, in a new cultural hotspot of international allure with a certain local touch.


Visitors of the museum can meet and greet the most prominent faces and places in Shanghai’s film history and can come closer than ever to celebrities and film sets that are usually out of reach. A 4D photo album showcases memories and personal stories of film professionals, and shows how film slowly but surely became a part of daily life in the city of Shanghai. Shanghai’s most successful film studios are celebrated and brought to life by a mix of objects and multimedia. A highlight is a glimpse into the archives of these ‘dream factories’ in ‘The River of Dreams’, a 50 meters long interactive ‘stream’ of films from 1949 up until today. Through a touch and play application, the visitor can ‘catch’ films in this stream and learn more about them. The success story and cultural importance of Shanghai film is underlined in an overview of the most glorious moments and relevant awards. The National Anthem of the PRC, a melody that was first used in a movie and later became China’s national sound, is celebrated in a multimedia installation that combines sound, objects, videos and the lyrics of the anthem.

The new museum is not only a ‘temple of history’; it makes a conscious and clear link to the present and future of filmmaking by integrating fully equipped real-time production studios, in which visitors can participate in the craft of filmmaking. A mixture of professional studios for Animation, Post-Production, Sound and Live Broadcasting enables visitors to see first hand how film professionals use traditional craft as well as modern digital technology to create features for the silver screen. A new generation of museum visitors can experience that the Shanghai Film Industry is still very much flourishing today and offers a bright future to the city.

Connecting past, present and future, and incorporating functions such as DIY workshops, a 4D Cinema, a multifunctional event space, a shop and a café, the Shanghai Film Museum represents a new vision on museum design. It is a vivid and ‘living’ environment, and a meeting place where an audience of professionals and non-professionals can interact and exchange knowledge and inspiration. This encouragement of dialogue is at the very core of the concept by COORDINATION ASIA for the new Shanghai Film Museum: to become a community that continues the tradition of sharing stories – the greatest of which are always waiting to be told.