Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

03.04.2017

I was keen to visit the new Winton Gallery at the London Science Museum, which opened in December 2016 and houses the museum's mathematics gallery. The interior was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. It is dominated by a 1929 Handley Page Gugnunc aeroplane that is suspended from the ceiling and the undulating shapes representing the airflows that would have surrounded it in flight. The floor plan also follows the contours of the airflow, providing the positions of the various cabinets.

The gallery consists of numerous objects which tell the story of mathematics such as calculating aides, curve-drawing machines, a set of geometric solids and the first computer. Other objects illustrate how mathematics has shaped the world and connects to various aspects of our lives, such as a chair designed by Le Corbusier based on the Modulor system of proportions and a model of Richard Seifert’s NatWest Tower.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a trial model of Babbage's Analytical Engine, which was conceived by Charles Babbage in 1834 to evaluate mathematical formulae. It was to have even higher powers than his original Difference Engine from the 1820s, but Babbage died before the machine's completion.

Links

Winton Gallery at the London Science Museum.

Category: Exhibition | Mathematics