Duverden Maritime Museum & Science Center, Porsgrunn, Norway | COBE
The Duverden Maritime Museum and Science Center is a museum in the town of Porsgrunn, Telemark, southern Norway. The iconic building of the museum was designed by renowned Danish architecture firm COBE.
Located in Posgrunn – a 35,000-inhabitant industrial town and port about 150 kilometers / 93 miles south-west of Oslo – the museum is aimed to illustrate on the one hand the maritime history of Norway and of Porsgrunn as a harbor town, and o the other hand the transformation of Norway from a country whose economy had been relying mainly on shipping and fishing for centuries to a modern society based on technology and the knowledge industry.
Designed by COBE together with Transform architects, and completed in 2013, the building of the museum is a three-story construction almost entirely clad with aluminum shingles.
The exhibition galleries are located mainly on the first floor while the ground floor accommodates the museum’s lobby, visitor services including a shop and a cafe, and a small auditorium.
The architects ingeniously divided the extremely regular plan of the building into nine squares, this way they were able to adapt the museum’s size to the scale of the surrounding buildings, which are mostly small private houses made in timber. Afterward, they “extruded” the squares to form nine parallelepipeds, and then tilted the upper and lower faces of each box to give the building a dynamic “saw-toothed” form and, at the same time, to allow daylight entering it sideways.
Exterior views of the Duverden Maritime Museum. Photos © Adam Mørk, and © Rasmus Hjortshøj.
Schematic diagram of the design process. Image courtesy of COBE.
Plans of the ground and first floors, and cross-section. Images courtesy of COBE.
Close-up of the aluminum shingles cladding the museum’s facades. Photo © Rasmus Hjortshøj.
A large stair connects the lobby and the galleries on the first floor. Photo © Adam Mørk.
The permanent exhibition of the Duverden Maritime Museum consists mostly of interactive exhibits, 3D videos, models, and graphic panels. Clearly aimed primarily at young people and families, the exhibition presents a number of topics, including maritime history, oceanography, shipbuilding, industry, energy, and engineering.
Along with permanent and changing exhibitions, the program of the museum includes educational activities, workshops, film screenings, and special events.
Fully accessible to physically-impaired people, the building of the museum also houses a book & gift shop and a 60-seat cafe.
The lobby of the museum. Photo © Rasmus Hjortshøj.
Two views of the permanent exhibition. Photos Astrid Westvang, and courtesy of Duverden Maritime Museum and Science Center.
Cover image; view of the museum from the north-west. Photo © Rasmus Hjortshøj.
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