DETAIL Prize 2014: Danish Maritime Museum
Text: Bettina Sigmund
Nominated for the DETAIL Prize 2014:
BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen, New York, Beijing
Danish Maritime Museum, Helsingør, Denmark
The new Danish Maritime Museum, designed by the BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group and set in Helsingør’s historic industrial harbour, lies adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Kronborg Castle. The 7,200-m2-large museum has been placed around a disused dry dock, and the location of the dock itself now marks the centrepiece of the museum's collection. A series of three two-level bridges zig-zag across the dry dock, serving as short-cuts to different galleries within the museum. These modern steel/glass bridges are cut into the existing walls of the dock and create a dynamic tension between old and new. The steel construction of the gangways derives from conventional bridge technology, and is normally used to bridge long spans. Use of this technology in building construction is highly unconventional. Bends and oscillations of the gangways are minimized through the use of massive steel chains. Thanks to the gangways in the building, visitors are in continuous motion, additionally enhanced by the gentle slope of all floors – the exhibition spaces, auditorium, café, offices and docks. Within a very short time the museum has become a popular public, cultural centre.