The Japanese firm SANAA, founded by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, has won the competition to build the Maritime Museum in the Dapeng area of the city of Shenzhen. Its scheme, titled ‘The Cloud on the Ocean,’ was one of 88 entries that came from 20 countries. Kengo Kuma & Associates, MVRDV, Sou Fujimoto Architects, and UNStudio were co-finalists.
Combining elements of local culture, the site, and the marine environment, the design evokes a light cloud emerging amid mountains and the ocean. The light-toned materials of the skin create an interaction of transparency, translucency, and opacity. Flexible, uninterrupted, column-free spaces experiment with an alternation of hollow and solid, light and shadow. Hemispheric volumes of different sizes are interconnected but function independently of one another to accommodate facilities for exhibitions, the museum’s permanent collection, educational activities, and marine science research.