This museum opened its doors in 2013 and is the result of a competition held in 2009 that was won by Danish architects COBE and TRANSFORM, in collaboration with Sweco engineers. The museum tells the story of Norway's transformation from a shipping industry to a modern society based on a knowledge industry.
The city of Porsgrunn has a long maritime history of shipping and the unique development of the region is clearly visible in the existing building structure. The concept of Porsgrunn Maritime Museum shows a high level of sensitivity toward the existing historical context and picturesque nature, yet simultaneously creating something contrasting and standing out as a contemporary public building.
Taking into account the surrounding building structure with the historical wooden buildings, the roof is composed of tilted downscaled volumes that are assembled into a larger building unit. This creates a dynamic figure with pitched roofs in different directions, mirroring the surrounding roof structure.
The zigzag-shaped building has a charismatic aluminum façade outlining the shape of the building composition. The aluminum used is from a local producer and consists of smaller shingles that create a scaly surface, picking up reflections from the water. Depending on the weather, the color of the façade appears different.
The functions of the building are simply organized, housing all exhibitions on the first floor and all the official functions at the ground floor, where they are easily accessible. This includes offices, shops, and a sailor association. Through an integrated hallway, the building is also connected to Porsgrunn's Road and Traffic Center located next to the museum.