The Dubai Maritime Museum and Research Centre relates to both the sea
and the city and is in constant dialogue between them. Conceived as a
continuation of and a transition through a wide public space, the building
dives into the ocean and merges with it. It culminates in a sharp triangular
form, which concentrates the public routes to the museum through an
inviting shape that draws visitors to the entrance and distributes them to
the interior. Here they can view a series of marine exhibits and experience
breathtaking underwater views.
A generous internal height allows both wide interior views and for
the exhibits to be of significant scale. The collection is divided into
categories such as marine life, marine technology, interactive educational
and experimental exhibits, aquariums, video projections and digital
representations, as well as underwater photography exhibitions.
The 41,200sqm museum is itself an artefact, an artificial underwater
environment organised under an immense glass roof that has been
designed to maximise the view of the ocean and intensify the feeling of
diving down to the seabed.
The building is also a vessel that suggests the idea of a journey. The
interior space is arranged into a successive series of cascading platforms,
allowing visitors to have a panoramic and clear overview of the whole
museum’s interior, under a ‘water roof’ that filters the natural light coming
from above. The presentation of the museum’s collection is in direct
relation to the ocean’s setting, as the artificial manmade space is fully
integrated into the natural underwater environment.
Voyage of discovery
The Dubai Maritime Museum literally dives into the ocean, the lighting designed to evoke its descent into the sea.
Niko Kapa of architect Studio Niko Kapa outlines the scheme
Studio Niko Kapa’s concept for the Dubai Marine Museum and Research Centre sees it
tilt into the sea. At its deepest it is also at its narrowest and the light coming through its
‘water roof’ is at its least intense, amplifying the effect of depth