National Archaeological Museum Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar Building Images, Architecture Design

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia Building

Mixed-Use Ulaanbaatar Building Development design by Barna Architects

14 Mar 2013

Design: Barna Architects

Location: National Park, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Barna Architects‘ first prize-winning proposal of The National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia international architecture competition

Project Description:

The National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia is a multifunctional complex, containing research, educational, and exhibition space, and offices as well, all in all, making it the building floor area 50,000 square meters.

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia

The National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia Design

The site is located in Ulaanbaatar in the National Park close to the city center. The design assimilates and conforms to the existing establishments and facilities, including the promenade, fountain, and bicycle road.

“The existing infrastructure served as a frame for our design. For example, we used the bicycle ring as an outside perimeter of the project and we kept the fountain which proved to be a good organization point, we wanted to make these elements part of the project and its composition”.

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia

Architectural approach

There were two important analyses to consider during the early phases of the conceptual design. One was the unique history of the local architecture, and the other the extreme weather conditions, which Mongolia is succumbed to during winter, namely, the Siberian Anticyclones and sometimes the strong winds. The solutions for these considerable issues were to create a design that is in harmony with the historical archetypes and can endure extreme weather conditions.

The building uses simple archaic forms to create a clean arrangement of volumetric units. This curving mass forms a protected space for the main entrance and other public space. Observing the building mass from the main perspective view, we can understand its protecting attitude and see how the open air exhibition space safeguards its valued objects.

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia


Several functional units may be accessed via the main entrance, but the office, laboratory, and educational sections may be accessed independently from the exhibition block through the passage entrance.

The museum exhibition wing’s crucial element is the central court covered with a glass roof. The central court may be accessed and used by everyone. This grand space atrium allows access to the Museum Shop, ticket office, the children’s section/museum, cloakroom, water fountains and toilets, in addition, from here visitors may access the segregated exhibition units- namely the temporary exhibition wing , the Pre-historic- Ancient Empires, Post- Ancient Empires divisions and the Mongolian Empire Division.

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia

The office and laboratory wings take into account the natural light requirements, therefore oriented to the South, and because the exhibition and preservation functions require less sunlight they are oriented to the North. The office and laboratory wing’s southern oriented glass surface is protected with state-of-the-art energy efficient shading system, thus sustainable design plays an important role, the laboratory and office corridors’ slabbing allows natural light in and even supports natural ventilation.


The museum’s visitor trails commence from the central court and all routes return to that place. Importantly, all divisions of the exhibition place, including the temporary exhibition area, may be accessed separately from each other. The floor plan configuration is simple and its manageable structure provides the freedom for future considerations in case there is a need for a change in functional space requirements.

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia – Building Information

Barna Architects:
Architect: Barna D. Kovacs , Krisztina Barna
Team/Consultants: Zsuzsa Lukacs, Ochir Tuvshinbayar, Bulgan Altangerel
Location: Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Status: 1st prize winning entry
Project Year: 2013
Total floor area: 50,000 sqm

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia

Contact information:
Barna Architects web link

National Archaeological Museum of Mongolia images / information from Barna Architects

Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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