SHANGHAI SUBMARINE MUSEUM
International invited competition, 1st prize, in progress
Client: Shanghai Bund Investment Group Co. Ltd (BIG)
Project Area: Phase I 500 m2；Phase II 3,000 m2；Curated area of site 6,600 m2
The Shanghai Submarine Museum will occupy a prominent position on the Huangpu riverfront in central Shanghai at No. 3 Dockyard, the former site of the Jiangnan Shipyard and more recently part of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo site. The area is currently undergoing a major urban transformation, with 30 km of the west Huangpu riverfront with its old industrial docks and sites being converted into cultural facilities, public parks and recreational sites around a long and uninterrupted green pedestrian passage.
The new museum, administratively part of the China Maritime Museum in Shanghai, will form an integral part of this chain of cultural venues and historic riverfront landscape. PES-Architects’ design seeks to preserve the industrial dock and showcase the museum submarine with a subtle yet distinctive landmark building that honours the heritage of the site.
The museum will be built in two phases: the first phase (500 m2), scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, will provide access to the submarine while the second phase, to be completed in 2023, will expand the building by 3,000 m2.
The site for the future museum and the relocated submarine is one of three adjacent maritime docks. The design takes advantage of the historic industrial spaces and repurposes them for new uses while preserving the atmospheric quality of the location.
The museum is placed as a bridge on top of the submarine and across the dock pool, allowing for continuous flow across the site while leaving most of the dock intact. Initially a low, simple structure, the building grows upwards in the second phase as the museum programmes expand. A monumental staircase links the dock floor to the riverfront green zone.
A rooftop viewing deck finalises the sculptural yet highly functional museum design. Beneath this, the restaurant occupies prime position, allowing direct access from the park and pedestrian passages and providing a panoramic view towards the Huangpu River.
The building forms a symbiosis with the submarine and hovers over the maritime dock as a mysterious, intriguing object offering fantastic views in all directions. The design focus is equally on all the three key elements of the site: the dock itself, as a memory of the industrial nature of the site; the museum submarine; and the majestic Huangpu River.
Concealing envelope The reflective mirror facade simultaneously amplifies its context and disappears, attracting attention while respecting its environment. Glass, steel and wood form an elegant contrast to the rough textures of the museum dock.
The same materials and feel are continued in the interior, with spaces arranged clearly to reflect and optimally serve their respective uses.
Multi-functionality and expansion potential
The layout of the museum and restaurant are designed for highly flexible and adaptive use of the spaces individually or in combination.
The multifunctional exhibition space beneath the museum allows parts of the dock to be separated to form part of an exhibition or event. Various uses of the dock area could include film screenings, festivities, fashion shows etc.
Landscape artwork that symbolises the progression from ocean to land
The floor of the dock has an undulating topography that can be filled with water, changing the outlook and function of the area. As the water level rises, the landscape forms shallow pools for children to play in and creates a narrow path towards the underside of the museum. At the highest level, the water also allows separation of the exhibition areas below the museum from the public park.
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