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The Whale, Dorte Mandrup

An Arctic Attraction on Andøya: The Whale by Dorte Mandrup

From a shortlist of four teams, Dorte Mandrup’s studio has prevailed in the competition to design the Arctic attraction The Whale for the Norwegian village of Andenes, which is located in the northernmost part of the island of Andøya, around 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. In contrast to other places in the Far North, the Gulf Stream keeps the climate mild here. Craggy cliffs and the vast ocean create dramatic scenery.

The Bleiksdjupa deep-sea valley lies just a few nautical miles from shore; it is known particularly for whale watching. According to Børre Berglund, CEO of The Whale AS and jury member in the competition, Dorte Mandrup’s poetically restrained, unusual design refers to these features. Shaped like a whale’s body, the stone-covered roof construction rises as if the entire archipelago were lifting itself to accommodate the glazed space beneath.

The parabolic shape of the curved, concrete shell transfers its loads to three corner points, thus enabling a support-free interior with exhibition spaces devoted to the living spaces of whales. The area is also home to offices and dining facilities. The Whale is slated to open in 2022.

Further information:



Marianne Levinsen Landscape
JAC Studio
Thornton Tomasetti
Nils Øien
Anders Kold
AT Plan & Arkitektur

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