Danish Maritime Museum Helsingoer, Elsinore Building, Denmark Architecture
New Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingør
Elsinore Building, Denmark design by BIG architects
30 Sep 2016
Design: BIG architects
Danish Maritime Museum Helsingør Building
New architectural photographs © Adrian Welch, e-architect Editor, from visit to Denmark/Sweden around a week ago:
Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingør
I wrote positively about this back in October 2013, and we also carried an article by Indian architect Dimple Soni. The reality didn’t disappoint.
A minor niggle, many of the metal ramp cladding panels were slightly warped with plenty of gaffer tape employed, would like to think this will be sorted soon.
The basic premise is a bold re-use of a former dry dock.
Energy is provided by forming a rectangular (hope to source a plan) cut that is unaligned to the dry dock. This simple device provides aperspective space down the sides of the dry dock. I studied, and visited, Alvar Aalto’s use of apersepctive space in Finland whilst an architecture student and for me it is an architectural concept that works well. It is essentially the opposite of classical or International Style symmetry and evenness (from Palladio’s villas to Mies’ Berlin gallery).
Bjarke Ingels has created an interesting building that works both as pure architecture and as an excellent showcase for the maritime history of this proud seafaring nation. Some recent ‘display’ buildings – such as the Kunsthaus in Graz or the Bilbao Guggenheim – have been praised for their exciting organic forms but criticised for the architecture overpowering the art. More typically, contemporary art galleries and museums form dull carapaces out of rectilinear white-walled volumes. BIG eschew both these polarities to create an inteliigent piece of architecture that finds a happy balance between the yin and yang of exciting space and easy contemplation of exhibits.
view looking Northeast up the entry ramp from the entrance:
new and old, angular new stair form at East end of building:
the curve of the old dry dock at the East end:
colourful and fun displays
glazing fixing detail:
looking down to the restaurant slotted below new structure:
view west to the outdoor dining area:
route down to the restaurant:
complex but articulate junction at the top of the restaurant stair:
the stairs at the end of the exbitiions taking you back to the shop and exit, everywhere simple elements atre given a twist, here literally:
vibrant colour in the toilets, with simple metal trough sink:
Adrian Welch, architect, Editor.
3 Jan 2014
This dynamic Danish building is one of our picks from
Buildings of 2013 : Architecture of the Year
e-architect’s selection of key architectural developments posted on the site in the last year
18 Oct 2013
New Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingoer
Design: BIG architects
One of the most interesting buildings completed this year – 41 photographs of the completed work inside and out, a fascinating project in a key Danish cultural site. Leaving the historic dock walls untouched, the architects have placed the galleries below ground in a continuous loop around the dry dock walls – making the dock the centerpiece of the exhibition.
This marks a new point in BIG’s trajectory, almost a coming of age: this is a serious project and it looks from here to be seriously good. I visited the site whilst works were at an early stage and found the cultural experience of this windswept corner of Sjælland to be limited. That was just before the building by aart architects was completed.
The joy for me of this building is its concept: using the historic dry dock and bouncing new architecture off its walls, genius! However the execution also looks to be clever and sensitive, quite a mature building for what is still a relatively young practice more known for contemporary projects, especially housing in the Danish capital. Congratulations to the entire team, I look forward to seeing it on a future visit to Denmark.
Adrian Welch, e-architect Editor.
New Danish Maritime Museum, Sjælland, eastern Denmark
BIG with Kossmann.dejong+Rambøll+Freddy Madsen+KiBiSi have completed the Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør. By marrying the crucial historic elements with an innovative concept of galleries and way-finding, BIG’s renovation scheme reflects Denmark’s historical and contemporary role as one of the world’s leading maritime nations.
The new Danish National Maritime Museum is located in Helsingør, just 50 km (30 mi.) north of Copenhagen and 10 km (6.5 mi.) from the world famous Louisiana Museum for Modern Art. The new 6,000 m² (65,000 ft²) museum finds itself in a unique historical context adjacent to one of Denmark’s most important buildings, Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site – known from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It is the last addition to Kulturhavn Kronborg, a joint effort involving the renovation of the Castle and two new buildings – offering a variety of culture experiences to residents and visitors to Helsingør.
Leaving the 60 year old dock walls untouched, the galleries are placed below ground and arranged in a continuous loop around the dry dock walls – making the dock the centerpiece of the exhibition – an open, outdoor area where visitors experience the scale of ship building.
A series of three double-level bridges span the dry dock, serving both as an urban connection, as well as providing visitors with short-cuts to different sections of the museum. The harbor bridge closes off the dock while serving as harbor promenade; the museum’s auditorium serves as a bridge connecting the adjacent Culture Yard with the Kronborg Castle; and the sloping zig-zag bridge navigates visitors to the main entrance. This bridge unites the old and new as the visitors descend into the museum space overlooking the majestic surroundings above and below ground. The long and noble history of the Danish Maritime unfolds in a continuous motion within and around the dock, 7 meters (23 ft.) below the ground. All floors – connecting exhibition spaces with the auditorium, classroom, offices, café and the dock floor within the museum – slope gently creating exciting and sculptural spaces.
Bjarke Ingels: “By wrapping the old dock with the museum program we simultaneously preserve the heritage structure while transforming it to a courtyard bringing daylight and air in to the heart of the submerged museum. Turning the dock inside out resolved a big dilemma: Out of respect for Hamlet’s Castle we needed to remain completely invisible and underground – but to be able to attract visitors we needed a strong public presence. Leaving the dock as an urban abyss provides the museum with an interior façade facing the void and at the same time offers the citizens of Helsingør a new public space sunken 8 m (16 ft.) below the level of the sea.”
KiBiSi has designed the above ground bench system. The granite elements are inspired by ship bollards and designed as a constructive barrier that prevents cars from driving over the edge. The system is a soft shaped bench for social hangout and based on Morse code – dots and dashes writing a hidden message for visitors to crack.
The exhibition was designed by the Dutch exhibition design office Kossmann.dejong. The metaphor that underpins the multimedia exhibition is that of a journey, which starts with an imagining of the universal yearning to discover far away shores and experience adventures at sea. Denmark’s maritime history, up to the current role of the shipping industry globally, is told via a topical approach, including notions such as harbor, navigation, war and trade. The exhibition has been made accessible for a broad audience through the intertwining of many different perspectives on the shipping industry.
David Zahle, Partner-in-Charge: ”For 5 years we have been working on transforming the old concrete dock into a modern museum, which required an archaeologist care and spacecraft designer’s technical skills. The old lady is both fragile and tough; the new bridges are light and elegant. Building a museum below sea level has taken construction techniques never used in Denmark before. The old concrete dock with its 1.5 m thick walls and 2.5 m thick floor has been cut open and reassembled as a modern and precise museum facility. The steel bridges were produced in giant sections on a Chinese steel wharf and transported to Denmark on the biggest ship that has ever docked in Helsingør. The steel sections weigh up to 100 tons a piece and are lifted on site by the two largest mobile cranes in northern Europe. I am truly proud of the work our team has carried out on this project and of the final result.”
On Saturday October 5, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, cut the ribbon to mark the grand opening. The new Danish National Maritime Museum is open to the public for outdoor activities, exhibitions and events, making the museum a cultural hub in the region throughout the year.
New Danish Maritime Museum Helsingoer images / information from BIG architects
Danish Maritime Museum Helsingoer : background on this project
Underground Architecture : New Danish Maritime Museum – ‘Scooped out and invisible’ aqrticle about this building by Dimple Soni for e-architect – 22 Oct 2013
Postscript: the e-architect directors went to Helsingoer primarily to see the two groups of houses by Utzon, the visit to the castle was secondary! Isabelle’s great grandmother was from Helsingoer so there is also a small family connection. A stop at the sumptous Louisiana Museum for Modern Art on the coast is an absolute must if you decide to visit Helsingoer from Copenhagen.
Location: Helsingoer, Denmark
Architecture in Denmark
Danish Architecture Designs – chronological list
A neighbouring Helsingoer building on e-architect:
Culture Yard Helsingoer
Design: aart architects
photo from aart architects
Culture Yard Elsinore
Danish Architect : Studio Listings
Blåvand Bunker Museum
Design: BIG architects
image : BIG
Blåvand Bunker Museum Building by BIG
Kronborg Slot, Helsingoer
photograph © Adrian Welch
Danish Architecture near Helsingoer
Fredensborg Houses – design by Jorn Utzon
photograph © AJW
Kingo Houses – design by Jorn Utzon
photograph © AW
Comments / photos for the New Danish Maritime Museum Elsinore – Helsingoer Architecture page welcome