Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
National Maritime Museum in London, United Kingdom by C. F. Møller Architects
August 10th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: C. F. Møller Architects
Extension of the National Maritime Museum
C. F. Møller Architects has designed the extension of The National Maritime Museum in London, Britain’s seventh largest tourist attraction and part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.
The new wing, called The Sammy Ofer Wing –named after the international shipping magnate and philanthropist Sammy Ofer, who has funded most of £36.5m extension – was inaugurated on the 12th of July with the participation of among others the British Prince Philip.On Thursday 14th of July the extension opens to the public.
The National Maritime Museum houses the world’s largest maritime collection and is Britain’s seventh major tourist attraction with approx. two million visitors every year from around the world. The museum is housed in historic buildings, built in 1807, forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The park incorporates a number of baroque buildings that are considered among the finest in Europe and is an essential part of Britain’s maritime history, particularly The Royal Observatory from 1676 and The Old Royal Naval College from 1712.
Striking – and though minimal interventions in sensitive historic site
The main idea of the extension – which C. F. Møller Architects won in an international architectural competition in 2006 – has been to ensure minimal interventions in this sensitive historic site and yet give the museum a new, distinctive main entrance and the necessary additional exhibition space, as well as a new café, restaurant, library and archives that meet the particular demands for storage of historical documents.
The design solution by C. F. Møller Architects has created a new main entrance emerging from theterrain. Most of the new building, however, is located underground – in total 5500 m2 out of 7300 m2. The roof of the new wing is a green, public landscaped terrace overlooking the Park, accessed at all levels by gentle ramps, even more so causing the building to blend with the park landscape. The extension has a contemporary aesthetic, but is inspired by the Baroque buildings’ rhythmic sequence of windows, and the profile of the new extension has been kept low to allow the Grade I listed Victorian facade of the existing south west wing of the museum to be appreciated as a backdrop to the striking new building.
The goal of the expansion has been to open up the museum and allow the display of more collections than ever before. The museum’s collections range from e.g. a toy pig that survived the sinking of RMS Titanic to Lord Nelson’s last letter to his daughter. The maritime archive contains some 100,000 books and nearly two miles (3.2 km) of shelved manuscripts.
Notable cultural buildings in London
“It was a great honour for C. F. Møller Architects to design the new Sammy Ofer Wing within the sensitive and exceptional setting of Maritime Greenwich. In a limited space the project provides a great range of public amenities, museum facilities and visitor experiences. Most importantly, the architecture and landscape merge into a composition that seamlessly integrates the NationalMaritimeMuseum with GreenwichPark.”
C.F. Møller Architects has had the role as design architect, the British firm Purcell Miller Trittonwas executive architect. The English firm Churchman Landscape did the landscape design.
C. F. Møller Architects also recently deliveredanother new, significant cultural building in the heart of London: the Darwin Centre Phase Two, the eight-storey concrete cocoonextension of The Natural History Museum, which is both one of the UK’s top five visitor attractions and a world-leading science research centre. The cocoon has already been honored with several awards, including the Civic Trust Award.
C. F. Møller Architects is one of Scandinavia’s oldest and largest architectural practices. Our work involves a wide range of expertise that covers programme analysis, town planning, master planning, all architectural services including landscape architecture, as well as the development and design of building components.
Simplicity, clarity and unpretentiousness, the ideals that have guided our work since the practice was established in 1924, are continually re-interpreted to suit individual projects, always site-specific and based on international trends and regional characteristics.
Over the years, we have won a large number of national and international competitions and awards. Our work has been exhibited locally as well as internationally at places like RIBA in London, the Venice Biennale, the Danish Architecture Centre and the Danish Cultural Institute in Beijing.
A COMMON ARCHITECTURAL GOAL | C. F. Møller Architects was founded by the now deceased Prof. C. F. Møller. Today the firm is a limited company, owned by nine partners: Tom Danielsen, Klavs Hyttel, Anna Maria Indrio, Lars Kirkegaard, Mads Mandrup, Mads Møller, Klaus Toustrup, Julian Weyer and Lone Wiggers. The partnership undertakes the day-to-day management and comprises the company’s board of directors.
C. F. Møller Architects has a long tradition for internal and external cooperation where all parties to a project work towards a common architectural goal. Innovation and creativity are key words in our day-to-day work, and we try to make the drawing studio an attractive workplace, in which individual members of staff will find professional challenges through projects of high quality.
Our head office is in Aarhus and we have branches in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Oslo, Stockholm and London, as well as a limited company in Iceland.
Contact C. F. Møller Architects