Submarine museum surfaces in historic Chinese dock
Following an international architecture competition, Finland's PES-Architects has been commissioned to transform a historic dock in China into a submarine museum. The building will be defined by a striking reflective facade and will be centered around a decommissioned Chinese military submarine.
The Shanghai Submarine Museum will be situated in dock number three of the Jiangnan Shipyard. The site has a long history dating back to the Qing dynasty – which was the last dynasty to rule before the Chinese Communist Party came into power – and is now being redeveloped into parks and cultural facilities.
The museum, which brings to mind BIG's similar Maritime Museum in Denmark, will bridge the dock and enable visitors to move from the museum building directly into the submarine's interior, which is a decommissioned Ming class submarine once operated by the PLA Navy. Elsewhere will be a restaurant, multiple exhibition spaces, and a rooftop terrace offering choice views of the nearby area. Visitors will also be able to explore the dock itself, which will be partly filled with water at times.
"The building forms a symbiosis with the submarine and hovers over the dock as a mysterious, intriguing object with fantastic views towards the river, the dock and the submarine," explains PES-Architects. "The reflective mirror facade simultaneously amplifies its context and disappears, attracting attention yet respecting its environment. Glass, steel and wood form an elegant contrast to the rough textures of the museum dock. The dock floor has a gradually undulating topography that can be partially filled with water to form pools of various sizes, changing the outlook and function of the area."
The Shanghai Submarine Museum is being constructed in two phases: the first will be completed in early 2022 and consist of the building that bridges the dock and measures just 500 sq m (5,381 sq ft). The second phase is slated for completion in 2023 and will add the exhibition spaces and restaurant.