Danish National Maritime Museum / BIG

Architects: Bjarke Ingels Group
Area: 17,500 m²
Year: 2013
Photographs: Rasmus Hjortshøj, Thijs Wolzak, Luca Santiago Mora
Manufacturers: Fritz Hansen, Delux Denmark, GLASSBEL, Jakon, Jeld-Wen, Junckers, Paustian, X-Light, thyssenkrupp, tineKhome
City: Helsingør
Country: Denmark

The Danish National Maritime Museum, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group in Helsingør, has transformed a historical dry dock into a subterranean museum that enhances the region’s character and the Kronborg Castle. Completed in 2013, the museum’s design preserves the old dock walls, creating a unique exhibition space 7 meters (23 ft.) below ground with interconnected galleries and bridges.

Danish national maritime museum / big

The Danish Maritime Museum had to find its place in a unique historical and spatial context, positioned between one of Denmark’s most important buildings and a new cultural center. The museum respects the region’s character, particularly the Kronborg Castle, by being designed as a subterranean museum within a dry dock.

The 60-year-old dock walls were left untouched. The galleries are situated below ground, forming a continuous loop around the dock walls. This design makes the dock the centerpiece of the exhibition, providing an open, outdoor area where visitors can experience the scale of shipbuilding.

Danish national maritime museum / big

Three double-level bridges span the dry dock, serving as urban connections and providing visitors with shortcuts to different sections of the museum. The harbor bridge closes off the dock while serving as a harbor promenade. The museum’s auditorium acts as a bridge, linking the adjacent Culture Yard with Kronborg Castle. The sloping zig-zag bridge directs visitors to the main entrance, uniting old and new elements as visitors descend into the museum space, with views of the surroundings above and below ground.

Danish national maritime museum / big

The Danish Maritime Museum’s history unfolds in a continuous motion within and around the dock, 7 meters (23 ft.) below ground. The floors gently slope, connecting exhibition spaces with the auditorium, classroom, offices, café, and dock floor, creating dynamic and sculptural spaces.

Danish national maritime museum / big
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Ny Kronborgvej 1, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark

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