THE £50m Wellcome Wing of the Science Museum in London is due to open to the public on 3 July.

The 10 000 m2 extension, including an Imax 3D science film theatre, will stage regularly updated exhibitions on the latest discoveries in science, medicine and technology.

The wing was designed by architect MacCormac Jamieson Prichard as a series of open tiers that step back from a central atrium. The other side of the atrium is dominated by the rounded belly of the Imax cinema, which visitors enter by a free-standing escalator.

Senior partner Richard MacCormac said his design was influenced by historic museums. “Visitors will see classified knowledge laid out in tiers in front of them, as in the Bodleian Museum in Oxford.

“The floors are supported on deep steel trusses that sit on hefty steel brackets at either end. The entire wing is suffused in a blue glow emanating from a vast end wall in blue glass.”

The wing was built by Kier Build, with Ove Arup & Partners as structural and services engineer. A 2700 m2 gallery called Making the Modern World, built within the Science Museum, will open on the same date.

It has been designed by architect Wilkinson Eyre to provide a historic introduction to the contemporary themes of the Wellcome Wing.