Large, Frank Gehry is among the studios selected for the US Naval Museum

Large, Frank Gehry is among the studios selected for the US Naval Museum

BIG, Gehry Partners and Perkins&Will are among five studios selected as finalists in a competition to design the future National Museum of the U.S. Navy.

The U.S. government agency for Maritime History and Heritage (NHHC) released the winning designs in a competition launched to explore potential designs for the museum, which called for building an expansion of the institution’s collections.

Bjarke Ingel display for the Maritime History Museum
BIG’s design for the National Museum of the US Navy consists of five tall, shiny shapes

According to consultancy MGAC, which facilitated the competition, the claim included requirements for the building to be “modern” and “public-facing” with six core design areas including the lobby and brand gallery incorporating “the use of holistic artefacts”.

Although it is not yet clear how the design will be selected or implemented, all of the winning designs were designed by the US Navy Yards in D.C., including BIG’s, which features five slender, metal-roofed buildings that will be placed above the water.

Interiors of BIG's Maritime History Museum concept
BIG’s design was influenced by Bjarke Ingel’s connection with boating

“As a Dane and a resident of a houseboat – a Norwegian ferry that I converted into my family home – imagining a US Navy museum is a true labor of love!” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels.

“The five buildings flow together to form an epic atrium cascading from roof to floor where all exhibitions are visually and physically accessible upon arrival.”

“This huge space will also serve as a majestic setting for ceremonies honoring those who have served,” he continued.

Interior of the Gehry Partners Navy building
Gehry Partners put forward a design that has a partially glass roof and a series of boxy interior shapes

Also among the winning designs was a Gehry Partners concept. This design consists of a large rectangular structure with a green roof interspersed with a glass roof.

Large, box-like forms fill the interior of the structure like buildings within the core shell, protruding from a void in the glass roof.

Perkins & Will designs the US Navy Museum
Perkins & Will designed a “sail-like” hull.

Perkins & Will’s design includes a series of “sail-like shapes” for the building envelope.

“Our concept places visitors at the intersection of the three fundamental forces — land, sea and air — that make up the U.S. Navy,” said Ralph Johnson, the studio’s global design director.

“It is a tangible expression of Navy honor, courage and commitment.”

The design includes a ceremonial courtyard and atrium inspired by a “ship hull.”

Quinn Evans design for the Maritime Museum
The Quinn Evans design is a collage of straight envelopes

The design was also chosen by New York design studio DLR Group and features a sculptural shell that reaches a dramatic point like the bow of a ship and has a large area of ​​glass on the facade allowing passersby to see the planes suspended inside.

Finally, Maryland studio Quinn Evans contributed a design consisting of a complex array of boxy shapes.

A spokesperson for the project told Dezeen that the final location for the new buildings has not been determined.

DLR range design
DLR Group has conceptualized a building that takes its shape from the bow of a modern ship

MGAC also said the museum is looking into “potential renovation of existing historic buildings” to match the designs.

Other similar museums planned in the United States include the Gensler Flight Test Museum in California, which is designed to look like airplane wings.

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