COBE + TRANSFORM set angular porsgrunn maritime museum
COBE + TRANSFORM set angular porsgrunn maritime museum COBE + TRANSFORM set angular porsgrunn maritime museum
dec 13, 2013

COBE + TRANSFORM set angular porsgrunn maritime museum

COBE + TRANSFORM set angular porsgrunn maritime museum
photo by rasmus hjortshøj
all images courtesy of COBE and TRANSFORM




‘porsgrunn maritime museum’, located 100 kilometers southwest of olso, norway, has opened its doors to the public two years after construction began. the museum, a collaborative project by danish architecture offices COBE and TRANSFORM, showcases the town’s extensive nautical history, forming part of an urban redevelopment designed to reconnect the town with the waterfront.



the scheme forms part of an urban redevelopment designed to reconnect the town with the river
photo by adam mørk




the brief called for a scheme which respected the existing characteristics of the area, yet simultaneously offered a new and exciting landmark: and a symbol for porsgrunn and its people. sensitively installing a bold design within the harbor’s existing landscape, the scheme establishes a physical connection with a neighboring structure, providing additional gallery space.



the bold design is sensitively established within the region’s existing urban fabric
photo by rasmus hjortshøj




the building is composed of eleven reduced volumes, which relate to the scale of the area’s historic urban landscape. each of these spaces are enclosed by roof planes of varying pitches, forming a varied and dynamic structure which subtly mirrors the rugged norwegian landscape. the locally produced aluminum façade reflects light and movement, allowing the complex to forge a shimmering waterside presence.



the reduced volumes of the building relate to the scale of the building’s surroundings
photo by adam mørk




internally, a promenade at ground level welcomes visitors inside the building, while a central stairway leads to flexible and generously scaled exhibition spaces above.


see designboom’s previous coverage of the ‘porsgrunn maritime museum’ here.



the entrance foyer at ground level
photo by rasmus hjortshøj



internally, a central stairway connects the museum
photo by adam mørk



large gallery space is found at second floor level
photo by adam mørk



the stairway leading to the generously proportioned gallery space at the upper level
photo by adam mørk



‘porsgrunn maritime museum’ in its riverside context
photo by adam mørk



project info:


title: porsgrunn maritime museum and exploratorium
location: porsgrunn, norway
client: telemark museum
architects: COBE and TRANSFORM
engineers: sweco
gross area: 2,000 sqm (21,528 sqf)
construction period: 2011-2013
assignment type: first prize in competition in 2009
photography: adam mørk and rasmus hjortshøj

  • This makes museums part of the whole settlement…and the photography is excellent.

    christina read says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,552 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample