What can you do with an old Abandoned Drydock in the shadow of a Shakespearean Castle?

Build a cool maritime museum, of course!

Danish Maritime Museum - BIG

Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) unanimously won a recent design competition for a new Danish Maritime Museum in Elsinore, Denmark even though it did not adhere to the competition brief. The proposed site, which is within eyesight of Kronborg Castle, the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and a UNESCO World Heritage site, was subject to extreme design limitations including not being able to rise even a meter above ground in order to avoid interfering in any way with the view of the castle towers. From the architects:

We considered it architectural suicide to fill the dry dock with program and therefore decided to empty the dry dock and wrap it with the museum, making it the centerpiece of the exhibition. Instead of drowning the dry dock with galleries we would leave it open. A new kind of urban space – open for new ideas and life. An underwater oasis whose attraction would be its emptiness. As a response to Hamlet’s famous question: to be or not to be? We chose the latter.

The museum is placed around the dry dock and not within. This allows the preservation of the dry dock as an entirely empty space. A series of bridges span the dry dock providing visitors with short-cuts to other portions of the museum. One bridge in particular also serves to navigate visitors to the entrance. An auditorium also serves as a bridge providing access from Kronborg Castle to the harbour. The bridges create a dynamic tension between old and new.

For a great slideshow of the project concept, click here. Completion is scheduled for 2010.

(Thanks arcspace.com)

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Peter A. Mello

Husband, father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

3 thoughts on “What can you do with an old Abandoned Drydock in the shadow of a Shakespearean Castle?”

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