National Maritime Museum Competition Entry / Holm Architecture Office (HAO) + AI

Courtesy of + AI

Situated outside the city of Tianjin in Northern , the proposal for the new National Maritime Museum is designed to house both new and old maritime items with a focus on celebrating the historical achievements of Chinese naval exploration through out time. Designed by Holm Architecture Offce (HAO) + AI the museum combines all aspects of the maritime world, from aquarium to sailing to education, combining a series of unique visitor experiences under one roof. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of Holm Architecture Office (HAO) + AI

The building takes full advantage of the adjacent lake by pulling in and creating a raised exterior marina exhibition that showcase new and old maritime vessels alike. The building design evolves around the idea of the “Big Sail”, implementing a large, inhabitable, roof that unites all the museum program while creating large undulating skylights and opening up towards the lake that sits directly to the North of the site. The “Big Sail” covers the main exhibition program of the museum, which sits as a collection of wooden exhibition volumes underneath mimicking the look building style of old fishing villages around the world.

Courtesy of Holm Architecture Office (HAO) + AI

Each of the exhibition volumes are linked by an internal path that ensures a well-defined and fully narrated museum experience for visitors, interspersed with views of the surrounding lake and marina. The flexible exhibition areas and new aquarium space is situated below the central interior reflecting pool.

Courtesy of Holm Architecture Office (HAO) + AI

With the Maritime Museum competition we wanted to focus the design on integrating a large variety and aspects of nautical experiences. The building design takes full advantage of the surrounding lake and creates a separate exterior exhibition marina for visitors giving the opportunity to see the ships in its natural surroundings.

Architects: Holm Architecture Office (HAO), in collaboration with AI (Archiland International)
Location: Tianjin, China
Program: Exhibition, Restaurant, Gallery, Aquarium, Education and Office
Type: Invited Competition
Size: 63.500 M2 / 680.000 SF     

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "National Maritime Museum Competition Entry / Holm Architecture Office (HAO) + AI" 20 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 02 May 2015. <>