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M/S Maritime Museum (M/S Museet for Søfart)
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M/S Maritime Museum (M/S Museet for Søfart)
Interior view of permanent exhibition
Work Type
maritime museums
Image: March 21, 2019
Ny Kronborgvej 1, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark
Helsingør, Frederiksborg, Denmark
Latitude: 52.037 N
Longitude: 12.618 E
Steel, aluminum, glass, concrete, reused concrete dry dock
150 m long, 8 m below ground
The permanent exhibition, which circles their periphery of the dry dock’s void, follows a one-way track, leading visitors through a thematically organized display of Danish maritime history and culture. Exhibitions are designed to be tactile and auditory in addition to visual.
Commentary: The collections of the M/S Maritime Museum began in 1915 and were originally housed in the castle at Helsingør. In 2013, the collection was moved permanently to a museum developed in a former dry dock Helsingør’s historically significant shipyard. Designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, the museum rests entirely below ground level, and is virtually invisible from a distance. Bjarke Ingels is quoted on the museum website: “Due to preserving the view of Prince Hamlet’s Castle’s towers we were not allowed to even stick out a meter above the ground level. 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, instead 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.” As Ingels describes, the main museum spaces circle the void of the dry dock. The ramped spaces that traverse the central space provide lines of sight to the exterior and to other pars of the museum. In order for the museum to remain secure underground, it is secured with 461 ground anchors that are drilled 42 meters down, an experience in technical engineering that another BIG partner likened to “a mixture between architecture and space craft design.” The visitor experience is meant to evoke the undulations of walking on an actual ship on the water. Situated in one of Denmark’s most important ports, the M/S Maritime Museum celebrates the country’s longstanding maritime culture, as well as conveying the country’s devotion to contemporary architecture. The BIG design for the museum has put Helsingør on the map not just for history enthusiasts, but for fans of contemporary architecture as well.
Contributor: Sarah Rovang
Information: “Architecture, M/S Museet for Søfart, accessed May 8, 2019,
Photographer: Sarah Rovang
Sarah Rovang, 2019
Use of this image is in accordance with the Artstor Terms & Conditions
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