SANAA to complete cloud-like shenzhen maritime museum in china

Mar 22, 2021

SANAA, the tokyo-based firm led by kazuyo sejima and ryue nishizawa, has been chosen to build the shenzhen maritime museum in china. the competition-winning scheme was selected ahead of proposals from a number of high-profile firms including UNStudio, sou fujimoto architects, and kengo kuma & associates. meanwhile, a design by OPEN architecture — featured on designboom here — envisions the museum as a cluster of glass icebergs.

the shenzhen maritime museum will be a comprehensive institution displaying an important collection of objects alongside research and educational facilities. the competition brief, which attracted the interest of more than 170 firms, called for a building that would stand as a new landmark for the city as well as its broader region. the jury announced that SANAA’s ‘cloud on the sea’ design proposal stood out from the crowd and was their preferred choice from an eventual shortlist of 15 entries.

conceived as a type of ‘floating architecture’, SANAA’s elegant and lightweight design seeks to blend into the landscape in an unassuming way. the building forms part of the existing terrain and the mountains, seas, and wetlands that surround the site. appearing as a cumulus cloud, the museum’s skin allows in light and permits external views — further establishing a close connection with its context. internally, continuous column-free spaces allow for a flexible program and an organic sense of continuity.

meanwhile, the jury also praised the design by OPEN architecture. expressing influence from geological formations, OPEN’s proposal comprises six glass ‘iceberg’ volumes which rise from the water, offering a reminder of the world’s melting icebergs. completing the top three projects is a proposal from the collaborative team of zhubo design, 3XN, and B+H architects. see each of the schemes in more detail below, as well as the shortlisted entries from sou fujimoto architects, kengo kuma & associates, JKMM architects, UNStudio, and MVRDV.

project info:

name: shenzhen maritime museum location: shenzhen, guangdong, china status: competition proposals and winning scheme