Queensland’s Cox Rayner Architects has won an international competition to design the National Maritime Museum of China.

Located in Tianjin, east of Beijing, the major port city for northern China’s fourth largest city, the museum will be 80,00sqm and comes with an estimated $290 million construction cost.

The design is said to be informed by structural knowledge gained from Queensland projects like the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and the One One One (111) Eagle Street Tower.

Cox Rayner beat a host of world-leading designers to win the six month competition, which was held over two stages.

It saw eight architects selected to compete for the prize from a group of 80 worldwide, with three finalists then chosen.

 Cox Rayner's design. Images courtesy Courier Mail

Cox Rayner founder Michael Rayner told the Courier Mail of the significance of winning the high-level competition, the kind typically won by the same people, who become well-known identities.

"So I guess I am saying we are not known to be in that league, so we must have won it through the design that we produced,” he said.

Rayner previously designed the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, before moving to Queensland, "So I had a bit of knowledge in maritime museums, and that made sense that we might give it a good crack”, he said.

(left) Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, by Cox.

Premier Campbell Newman said China is an important commercial and trading partner for Queensland and this competition could lead to more opportunities.

“It can only be positive for Queensland and will hopefully lead to more businesses here being considered for work in China and elsewhere in the world,” he said.

“As well as the added exposure it will bring, Cox Rayner will employ an additional 20 architects to complete the project.”

“This is the first national public building competition in China to be won by a Queensland architecture practice and only the second by an Australian firm, after the Olympic swimming stadium.”