Skip to main content

The renovation

16 Sept 2018 – The Maritime Museum and Aquarium’s last open day before the alterations.The Maritime Museum and Aquarium is undergoing an extensive renovation and extension. Read more about what is happening here.

Flygfotografi över älven och Sjömanstornet i skymningen.

Why are we renovating?

The Maritime Museum and Aquarium was inaugurated in 1933 and is in great need of measures to improve standards, such as better visitor flows, improved accessibility and a better work environment for the employees.

What will be changed?

The renovation includes moving the aquarium out of the museum building and into a new, ultra-modern facility under the ground in front of the museum, opening up a new entrance facing Karl Johansgatan, and installing new stairs and lifts to increase accessibility.

Higab and GAJD arkitekters’vision of what the museum may look like after it is reopened.

The Gamla Varvsparken park in front of the museum is a lung in the city and a pleasant place for nearby residents and visitors to sunbathe or picnic in. When the renovations are finished, the green spaces will be bigger than they are today. A new café may have outdoor tables in the park during the summer.

The following measures are among those to occur before the reopening:

  • A new aquarium of approximately 1,100 square metres and with 10 times as much water volume as today will be built under the park in front of the museum.
  • Fish and other animals will be able to move into the new large water tanks.
  •  Higab and GAJD arkitekters’ vision of the new aquarium.
  • The green space will be retained and expanded by changing the transport routes and paths.
  • The main entrance will be moved from the west gable end to the south long side facing Karl Johansgatan.
  • The café will move to the south side facing Karl Johansgatan.
  • The arches in the façade facing Karl Johansgatan will be glassed in and let light into the new entrance hall.
  • Two new lifts will be installed: one in the entrance leading down to the aquarium and one going up to Levels 2 and 3 in the eastern section of the building.
  • Two new staircases will be installed, both in the new entrance hall. One will lead down to the aquarium and the other up to the lecture hall on Level 2.
  • New exhibitions will be created on Levels 1 and 2 and in the aquarium.
  • The original entrance and Hall of Remembrance on Level 2 will be refurbished.

In addition, after the reopening in 2022, the project will continue right up until 2025.

Planned measures include a refurbishment of the permanent exhibitions and other activity areas on Level 3.

What's going on in the sub-projects?

What does the timeline look like?

Jan 2019 – Dec 2020 – The construction process occurs.

Jan 2021 – 2022 – Move-in and exhibition construction.

2022 – The Maritime Museum and Aquarium reopens.

Note that the timeline is preliminary and subject to change.

This has happened so far:

  • Sept – Dec 2018 – The building is emptied and evacuated.
  • 16 Sept 2018 – The Maritime Museum and Aquarium’s last open day before the alterations.
  • 10 April – 2018 – the City Planning Authority grants planning permission.
  • Autumn 2017 – 11 project groups are formed for the renovation project’s various sub-projects.
  • 8 Nov 2017 – Personnel from Higab and the Cultural Affairs Administration hold an information and Q&A meeting about the renovation plans in the museum’s lecture hall.
  • 15 June 2017 – The City Council gives the go-ahead for the renovation and extension. The total budget including external contributions is SEK 111 million.
  • 28 Mar 2017 – The Cultural Affairs Committee decides to request permission from the City Executive Board to implement a renovation and extension of the Maritime Museum and Aquarium in accordance with the presented preliminary study.
  • Spring 2017 – The museum begins to prepare to move out the objects and collections.
  • Dec 2016 – Higab completes the preliminary study.
  • 16 June 2016 – The City Council sets a budgetary ceiling of SEK 100m, which requires a revision of the preliminary study.
  • 18 May 2016 – The museum and Cultural Affairs Committee organises a citizens’ dialogue in Sjömanskyrkan (the Seaman’s Church) about the renovation.
  • Jan – May 2016 – The architectural firm GAJD arkitekter works on various spatial solutions and design proposals for a renovated and extended Maritime Museum.
  • 13 Jan 2016 – The museum building is transferred to Higab’s ownership. It was formerly owned by the foundation Stiftelsen Styrelsen för Göteborgs Sjöfartsmuseum, which managed the building since 1933.
  • Nov 2015 – Higab begins work on the preliminary study.
  • Spring 2015 – The employees of the Maritime Museum and Aquarium do extensive survey and analysis work, which results in the description of the Museum and Aquarium’s space requirements.
  • 18 June 2013 – The Cultural Affairs Committee mandates the Premises Office to work with the Cultural Affairs Administration to start work on a preliminary study that will result in the preparation of a premises programme, including a cost calculation, for a renovation and extension of the Maritime Museum and Aquarium.

To our neighbours

There will be noise, especially from the excavators doing excavation work but also from blasting. There will be pile driving but to a limited extent and it will only involve steel piles. Steel piles are not pounded down in the same noisy way as concrete piles.

Gamla Varvsgatan will be affected, as a loading entrance will be built. This entrance will connect to Gamla Varvsgatan. While this work is being done, it will be necessary to close off a number of the on-street parking spaces. We will provide more information at a later date. 

How can I find out more information and where can I express my opinions?

The museum is arranging information meetings and Q&A sessions, at which everyone is welcome to get answers to their questions and express their opinions.

The information on this page will be continuously updated. You are welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, where we will also be publishing information about changes to the timeline, information meetings and other current events.

As part of the process, the working group will have contact with various focus groups of visitors, experts and other interested parties in order to ensure that as many perspectives as possible are taken into account. Contact us if you are interested in participating.


Isa Andersson
Kommunikatör, Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet
031- 368 31 60

Marie Wettmark
Kommunikatör, Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet
031-368 36 06

Carina Sjöholm
Museichef, Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet
031-368 36 41

Björn Källström
Utvecklingsledare akvariet, Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet
031-368 35 74

Helena Joelsson Ekström
Enhetschef Utställningar och akvarium, Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet & Göteborgs Stadsmuseum
031-368 36 76

Henrik Witt
Projektledare, Higab
031-368 53 88

Jerker Westerberg
Förstudieprojektledare, Higab
031-368 53 93