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In 2007, the Danish Maritime Museum, which is housed at Kronborg Castle in Helsingør (Elsinore), held an open competition to design a new building for its extensive historic collection. The Danish architecture firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), won with its imaginative proposal for an 'invisible' space.
While researching the site, BIG discovered an abandoned concrete dry dock, 150m long, 25m wide and 9m deep.
Extending to 7,600 square metres (82,000 sq ft) with an interior designed by Dutch architects Kossmann.dejong, the new museum will be placed around the dry dock, not in it, preserving the dock as an entirely empty space.
BIG says that its vision is to create a lively museum that, not only through its wide ranging programme of exhibitions but also its architecture, could excite people who just happen to wander by as well as those who had travelled far and wide specifically to visit the museum.
BIG recognised that creating a new building next to one of Denmark's most important architectural icons required an equal dose of respect and sensitivity but at the same time the firm wanted to design a building that would be outstanding in its own right.
The dry dock will also be used for a range of outdoor activities, exhibitions and events that will allow the maritime museum to contribute to the cultural life of Helsingør throughout the year. And the museum building will not only house the current collection but also allows for new interactive exhibitions - possible ideas include ship simulators, an interactive map of the world's seas and time-lapse photography showing how ships are built. (Pictures by courtesy of BIG)
Completion is scheduled for mid-2013.
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