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HAO and AI, along with three other teams, have been invited to participate in the National Maritime Museum competition, situated outside the city of Tianjin in Northern China. The proposal for the new National Maritime Museum is situated in Northern China, outside the city of Tianjin. The museum is designed to house both new and old maritime items with a focus on celebrating the historical achievements of Chinese naval exploration throughout time.

The National Maritime Museum combines all aspects of the maritime world, from aquarium to sailing to education, combining a series of unique visitor experiences under one roof. The building takes full advantage of the adjacent lake by pulling in and creating a raised exterior marina exhibition that showcase new and old maritime vessels alike.

This building design evolves around the idea of the “Big Sail”, implementing a large, inhabitable, roof that unites all the museum program while creating large undulating skylights and opening up towards the lake that sits directly to the North of the site. The “Big Sail” covers the main exhibition program of the museum, which sits as a collection of wooden exhibition volumes underneath mimicking the look building style of old fishing villages around the world.

Each of the exhibition volumes are linked by an internal path that ensures a well-defined and fully narrated museum experience for visitors, interspersed with views of the surrounding lake and marina. The flexible exhibition and new aquarium spaces are situated below the central interior reflecting pool.

With the Maritime Museum competition they wanted to focus the design on integrating a large variety and aspects of nautical experiences. The building design takes full advantage of the surrounding lake and creates a separate exterior exhibition marina for visitors giving the opportunity to see the ships in their natural surroundings.

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