Porsgrunn Maritime Museum

cobe porsgrunn exterior 010a cobe porsgrunn exterior
A contemporary
science center

Year: First prize in competition 2009, completed 2013

Client: Telemark Museum

Program: Maritime museum and science center

Size: 2,000 m²

The city of Porsgrunn has a long maritime history of shipping, and the region’s unique history is clearly visible in the existing building structure. The concept of the museum shows a high level of sensitivity towards the existing historical context, yet it simultaneously stands out as a contemporary public building. Taking into account the surrounding building structure, the museum is composed of downscaled volumes with tilted roofs that are assembled into a larger building unit. A striking aluminum façade outlines the shape of the building composition.

cobe porsgrunn exterior

How can we place a contemporary science center and museum within the scale of Porsgrunn?

Fitting into the
surroundings
cobe porsgrunn diagram

The museum is placed in a context of small pitched-roof buildings

cobe porsgrunn diagram

The light and extroverted functions are located on the ground floor, while the dark and introspective ones are placed on the first floor.

cobe porsgrunn diagram

The building is divided into smaller building components in order to match the scale of the context.

cobe porsgrunn diagram

The building components are stretched to let light into the ground floor, a design solution that gives rise to a multifaceted sloping roof.

cobe porsgrunn exterior

Porsgrunn Maritime Museum is composed of downscaled volumes with tilted roofs, creating a dynamic figure reaching toward both the sky and the sea.

cobe porsgrunn exterior
cobe porsgrunn exterior

Taking into account the surrounding building context of historical wooden structures, the roof is composed of tilted downscaled volumes that are assembled into a larger building unit. This gives rise to a dynamic figure with pitched roofs facing in different directions, mirroring the surrounding roofscape.

From shipping
industry to
modern society

The museum tells the story of Norway’s transformation from a traditional society based mainly on the shipping industry to a modern society based on the knowledge industry.

cobe porsgrunn exterior
cobe porsgrunn exterior detail
cobe porsgrunn interior
cobe porsgrunn interior

The stair in the foyer gives the visitors access to the first floor and the large exhibition space.

The different slopes of the pitched roofs create interesting spaces both inside and outside.

cobe porsgrunn interior
cobe porsgrunn interior

The aluminium façade consists of smaller shingles that create a scale-like texture and pick up reflections from the water.

cobe porsgrunn interior detail
cobe porsgrunn exterior

The concept of Porsgrunn Maritime Museum shows a high degree of sensitivity toward the existing historical context and picturesque landscape while simultaneously creating a contrasting and distinctive contemporary public building.

cobe porsgrunn exterior

Location: Porsgrunn, Norway

Client: Telemark Museum

Program: Maritime museum and science center

Size: 2,000 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2009, completed 2013

Collaborators: TRANSFORM, Sweco

Awards: Architizer A+ Awards 2015 Finalist, Mies van der Rohe Award 2015 Shortlist, Byggeskikkprisen 2013

Team: Charlotte Lieske, Dan Stubbergaard, David Engell Jessen, Eik Bjerregaard, Stine Lund Hansen, Tabea Treier, Thomas Krarup.

Photographer: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST, Adam Mørk