The experience evokes a descent to the ocean depths. Natural light enters
through the glass ceiling and, as the building sinks, the space narrows
and the light’s intensity gradually reduces, detaching the building from
the surface and making it part of the ocean. A concentrative form leads
to a chamber at the deepest part of the museum where visitors can
experience the submerged environment in a replica submarine.
The overall concept is based on a triangular grid, which defines the
structural and functional aspects of both building and landscape. This
grid defines the roof cells which are supported by diamond-shape
structural cores. The roof of the structure is perforated with a system
of skylights directing natural light into the unified spaces and animating
the interiors with the changing density of natural light. The perforation
of the ceiling reinforces the solemn atmosphere of the deep sea and the
large windows offer a contemplative view of the ocean.
On the upper part of the glazed roof, the natural and continuous motion
of the waves cools the glass allowing the visitors also to see the transition
between land and sea as well as the alteration of light conditions. The
Research Center’s skylights are located above sea level and orientated
towards the north to avoid heat gains and establish stable light
conditions for the research labs below.
The LED lighting system integrated into the ceiling also follows a
triangular grid, correlating with the structural system, which in turn
correlates with both the exterior shape and the interior space.
The aim was to create a lighting concept that would not only mirror
the building’s distinguishing features, but would also complement the
The triangular building forms a sharp
wedge, while its angled, glass roof
allows light to enter from above and
affords a view of the subseascape