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SANAA Wins International Competition to Design the Shenzhen Maritime Museum

SANAA Wins International Competition to Design the Shenzhen Maritime Museum

The proposal designed by SANAA, “The Cloud on the Ocean” was just selected as the winning entry of the International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum. Led by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, SANAA imagined an intervention emerging between mountains and sea, combining the local cultures, site features, and maritime elements.

Courtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime MuseumCourtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime MuseumCourtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime MuseumCourtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum+ 5

The International Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum has just selected SANAA, co-founded by Pritzker Prize winners Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, for the design of the cultural hub. Attracting initially 88 top design teams representing over 170 design firms from 20 countries and regions, only 15 groups were selected to proceed to the competition and submit their featured solutions. Launched by the Planning and Natural Resources Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality (Municipal Ocean and Fisheries Bureau) and Bureau of Public Works of Shenzhen Municipality, the contest sought to find the best design for a leading maritime culture facility embedded in nature.

Courtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum
Courtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum

The winning proposal by SANAA imagined a floating white “cloud” emerging from the ocean. Fitting into the context of mountains and sea in the Dapeng area, the museum interprets fluid and dynamic building spaces through systematic and pure design vocabularies. Located in Dapeng New Area, the site enjoys superior geographic location and natural environments.


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The world-class facility aims to create a comprehensive maritime museum including a collection and exhibition center of marine resources, an education center for maritime culture, a research center for marine science, creating a new cultural icon in Shenzhen. Integrated within its urban context consisting of the Maritime University, the theme parks, Dapeng Fortress and Jiaochangwei Beach, the project will develop a vibrant international ecological and cultural coastal area.

Courtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum
Courtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum

The winning proposal puts in place free-flowing curves that contribute to a light, gentle and delicate building form that integrates humbly and lightly into the mountains and sea. The spatial experience alternates between voids and solids, interior and exterior, light and shadow; while the façades, the essential key feature of the “clouds”, generate several hemispherical spaces of different sizes, serving both structures and spaces. Moreover, the continuous column-free spaces help create functions that are both interconnected and independent from each other. "The light and transparent interface materials are turned into three types of interwoven design vocabularies respectively in full transparency, opacity, and translucency, which ingeniously align with public spaces, exhibition halls, and supporting areas in structure and logic".

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "SANAA Wins International Competition to Design the Shenzhen Maritime Museum" 25 Mar 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/959142/sanaa-wins-international-competition-to-design-the-shenzhen-maritime-museum> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum

SANAA赢‘深圳海洋博物馆’,即是结构又是空间的‘半球组合’

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