Designed by COX Architecture, after winning the international design competition back in 2013, the National Maritime Museum of China is first of its kind. Comprising four wings, focusing on the themes of "the ancient ocean," "ocean today," "journey of discovery" and "the age of the dragon", the project aims to highlight China’s maritime evolution. Covering 80,000 square meters, the three-story museum includes six display areas and 15 interconnected exhibition halls.
The National Maritime Museum of China comprises five hall structures radiating out to the port harbor and converging in a central preface hall. Each hall is dedicated to a different aspect of China’s marine heritage. These aspects include nature and ocean, world maritime civilization, Chinese marine culture and historic vessels. There is a temporary exhibition hall and spaces for public education, business, research and curatorial facilities. The museum is fronted by a ‘maritime plaza’ where maritime re-enactments and other open-air events actively engage the museum with the city. The maritime plaza houses a fishing and craft village and a marine botanic garden. This segmenting of halls and the maritime plaza ensures the museum doesn’t look like one monolithic building.
The museum held its soft opening in May 2019. The project aims to become a catalyst in enhancing the Chinese public’s awareness of sea protection, marine research and marine culture. The museum has won numerous awards such as World Future Project of the Year, World Architecture Festival Singapore 2013 Future Projects Competition Entries Category Winner, World Architecture Festival Singapore 2013, etc.