Architecture

Massive maritime museum makes use of rain and shine

Massive maritime museum makes ...
The National Maritime Museum of China gets some power from a roof-based solar panel array
The National Maritime Museum of China gets some power from a roof-based solar panel array
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Cox Architecture was commissioned to create the National Maritime Museum back in 2013, following an architecture competition
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Cox Architecture was commissioned to create the National Maritime Museum back in 2013, following an architecture competition
The National Maritime Museum of China's primary structure consists of 17,000 tonnes (roughly 19,000 US tons) of steel
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The National Maritime Museum of China's primary structure consists of 17,000 tonnes (roughly 19,000 US tons) of steel
The National Maritime Museum of China is located in Tianjin, which has received more than its fair share of impressive architecture in recent years, including a museum by Bernard Tschumi Architects and a library by MVRDV
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The National Maritime Museum of China is located in Tianjin, which has received more than its fair share of impressive architecture in recent years, including a museum by Bernard Tschumi Architects and a library by MVRDV
The National Maritime Museum of China measures 80,000 sq m (roughly 860,000 sq ft)
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The National Maritime Museum of China measures 80,000 sq m (roughly 860,000 sq ft)
The National Maritime Museum of China's patterned exterior is designed to shed heavy snow loads
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The National Maritime Museum of China's patterned exterior is designed to shed heavy snow loads
The National Maritime Museum of China features extensive landscaping
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The National Maritime Museum of China features extensive landscaping
The National Maritime Museum of China's largest cantilever is almost 42 m (137 ft) long
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The National Maritime Museum of China's largest cantilever is almost 42 m (137 ft) long
The National Maritime Museum of China's patterned exterior consists of 55,000 sq m (592,000 sq ft) of aluminum
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The National Maritime Museum of China's patterned exterior consists of 55,000 sq m (592,000 sq ft) of aluminum
The National Maritime Museum of China's interior is divided into four interconnected wings
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The National Maritime Museum of China's interior is divided into four interconnected wings
The National Maritime Museum of China includes six display areas and 15 exhibition halls
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The National Maritime Museum of China includes six display areas and 15 exhibition halls
"From Philip Cox’s initial watercolor sketches, the design evolved and certain compelling metaphors either resolved or emerged – jumping carp, corals, starfish, moored ships in port and an open palm reaching out from China to the maritime world," says Cox Architecture
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"From Philip Cox’s initial watercolor sketches, the design evolved and certain compelling metaphors either resolved or emerged – jumping carp, corals, starfish, moored ships in port and an open palm reaching out from China to the maritime world," says Cox Architecture
The National Maritime Museum of China measures 80,000 sq m (roughly 860,000 sq ft)
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The National Maritime Museum of China measures 80,000 sq m (roughly 860,000 sq ft)
The National Maritime Museum of China gets some power from a roof-based solar panel array
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The National Maritime Museum of China gets some power from a roof-based solar panel array
The National Maritime Museum of China
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The National Maritime Museum of China's design was informed by initial watercolor sketches by architect Philip Cox
The National Maritime Museum of China's interior includes six exhibition halls
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The National Maritime Museum of China's interior includes six exhibition halls
View gallery - 15 images

Cox Architecture's National Maritime Museum is an impressive new addition to the waterfront in Tianjin, China, that features an eye-catching curved design. The project boasts significant energy-efficient technology, including solar power and rainwater capture systems.

The Australian firm was commissioned to create the National Maritime Museum back in 2013, following an architecture competition, and the project also involved engineering giant Arup. The museum measures 80,000 sq m (roughly 860,000 sq ft) and its primary structure consists of 17,000 tonnes (roughly 19,000 US tons) of steel, while its exterior is finished in 3,500 sq m (37,600 sq ft) of glazing and 55,000 sq m (592,000 sq ft) of aluminum. Its largest cantilevered section juts out almost 42 m (137 ft).

The National Maritime Museum of China's largest cantilever is almost 42 m (137 ft) long
The National Maritime Museum of China's largest cantilever is almost 42 m (137 ft) long

There's also more to its exterior than you might assume at first glance. Its outer shell has an integrated drainage system to channel rainwater into storage tanks for use during the area's drier months, and its patterned facade helps shed snow loads, which can be heavy in that part of the world. Additionally, the building is designed to mitigate local seismic activity.

Up on the roof is a solar panel array, which reduces its grid-based electricity usage, while an energy-efficient geothermal heating system runs 100 m (328 ft) beneath the ground and helps maintain a comfortable temperature inside.

The interior layout of the building is spread over three floors and four primary interconnected wings.

The National Maritime Museum of China includes six display areas and 15 exhibition halls
The National Maritime Museum of China includes six display areas and 15 exhibition halls

"It is a landmark project comprising four wings, focusing on the themes of 'the ancient ocean,' 'ocean today,' 'journey of discovery' and 'the age of the dragon,' says Cox Architecture. "The three-story museum covers 80,000 square meters and contains six display areas and 15 exhibition halls. These halls are interconnected so that visitors are provided an opportunity to understand and interpret China's maritime evolution in relation to events in Europe, America, and wider Asia."

Tianjin has received more than its fair share of notable architecture in recent years, including a museum by Bernard Tschumi Architects, a library by MVRDV, and 2019's tallest building, by SOM.

Source: COX Architecture

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