Helsinki, Finland – PES-Architects has won the invited international architecture competition for the Shanghai Submarine Museum on the Huangpu riverfront in Shanghai, China.
The new museum, administratively part of the China Maritime Museum in Shanghai, will occupy a prominent position in a dock of the former Jiangnan Shipyard, more recently part of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo site. The west bank of the Huangpu River in central Shanghai is currently undergoing a major urban transformation with old industrial docks and sites being converted into cultural venues, public parks and recreational sites.
The museum will initially showcase a decommissioned submarine, later to be expanded with flexible exhibition/event spaces and a restaurant.
In PES-Architects’ concept, 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. A low, simple structure of 500 square metres in the first phase, set to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, the building will grow upwards by 3,000 square metres in the second phase (2023).
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. 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.