COX Architecture's National Maritime Museum of China Opens to the Public

COX Architecture's National Maritime Museum of China Opens to the Public

China’s latest landmark, the National Maritime Museum is now open to the public. 6 years in the making, the project is first of its kind. Designed by COX Architecture, after winning the international design competition back in 2013, the museum is located in the recently developed Binhai New Area, in the city district of Tianjin.

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© Terrence Zhang

With a distinctive form, reaching out into the bay from a large waterfront parkland, China's first National Maritime Museum is a monumental intervention. Comprising four wings, focusing on the themes of "the ancient ocean," "ocean today," "journey of discovery" and "the age of the dragon", the project aims to highlight China’s maritime evolution. Covering 80,000 square meters, the three-story museum includes six display areas and 15 interconnected exhibition halls.

© Terrence Zhang
© Terrence Zhang

A series of interconnected pavilions cantilever out over the water from a central reception hall, a space for transition that provides access to the upper of the two exhibition levels. The interconnected halls “provide a constant connection between inside and out”. In fact, the landscape orients visitors and organizes their experience.


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© Terrence Zhang

The National Maritime Museum of China is justified in its ‘landmark’ status…it is a remarkable building borne of a remarkable process. It is a project that’s totally at home on the global stage. It is a testament to the commitment of our open-minded and collaborative client and to our team, whose talent and tenacity in equal measure ensured this building stayed true to its vision in every possible detail. -- Brendan Gaffney, National Director for COX.

© Terrence Zhang
© Terrence Zhang

Fully operational now, the museum held its soft opening in May 2019. 150,000m2 of site, 80,000 GFA and 39,000m2 of exhibition space, the museum is two and a half times larger, in terms of both length and site area, than the Sydney Opera House the NMMC. Granted the World Architecture Festival Future Project of the Year, Future Cultural Project of the Year and the Competition Project of the Year in 2013, the project is a cultural phenomenon on the global stage. 

© Terrence Zhang
© Terrence Zhang

The process was innovative – especially for a project of this size, scale, complexity, and location – in its deployment of parametric computer modeling that allowed both scale and detail to be resolved concurrently. Physical models focused on human scale and interaction while complex geometric algorithms resolved the doubly curved building ‘shell’ and its related cladding system. -- COX Architecture

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© Terrence Zhang

  • Client: National Maritime Museum Preparatory Office Chinese Government and Tianjin Municipality
  • Local Design Institute Partner: Tianjin Architecture and Design Institute (TADI)
  • Key Consultants: Arup, Lord Cultural Resources, Urbantect

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "COX Architecture's National Maritime Museum of China Opens to the Public" 11 Mar 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/935383/cox-architectures-national-maritime-museum-of-china-opens-to-the-public> ISSN 0719-8884
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COX 新作‘中国国家海洋博物馆’正式对外开放

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