AART architects to exhibit 1960s-era secret nuclear bunker within danish cold war museum

AART architects to exhibit 1960s-era secret nuclear bunker within danish cold war museum

denmark-based firm AART architects wins the prestigious competition to design the new danish cold war museum in rold skov in northern jutland. designed together with SLA, niras and thøgersen & stouby as sub-advisors, the museum has been envisioned to unfold the story of one of denmark’s best kept secrets — the cold war bunker REGAN vest that had been built in secret during the 1960s to house the government and monarch in case of a nuclear war. for over four decades the underground bunker was kept a state secret. now the historical museum of northern jutland will open the bunker, allowing the public to experience the cold war from a new perspective. AART will design the visitor and exhibition building — with the 5,500 square meter nuclear-proof bunker as the ultimate focal point.

AART cold war museum
image by AART (also main image)



from its exterior, the visitor and exhibition building will be the only visible manifestation of the AART-designed danish cold war museum. conceived as four black boxes, the building is nested deep within the forest, appearing hermetically almost as a collection of sealed display cases. only a subtle retraction in the facade indicates the entrance to the museum. the boxes are clad in anodized aluminum, offering a unique weather-resistant structure. their appearance plays distinctively with the surrounding landscape which houses the 5,500 square meter nuclear-proof ‘REGAN vest’ bunker built to house the danish government and monarch in the case of a nuclear war.

AART cold war museum
image by AART and thoegersen stouby



the REGAN vest bunker offers tangible evidence of the cold war’s threatening atmosphere and serves as the ultimate focal point of AART’s museum. in the heart of the visitor and exhibition building is a scale model of the impressive underground bunker. while this area is to be built so that visitor circulation centres around the model, from this centralized space visitors get an overview of and easy access to the museum’s many features, including the exhibition sections and assembly point for guided tours to REGAN vest. the project houses seven exhibition areas that engage visitors and provide different perspectives on the cold war — from the fear of nuclear weapons to the sharply drawn political fronts and speculative scenarios, should the war break out.

AART cold war museum
image by AART and thoegersen stouby



lars christian nørbach, director of the historical museum of northern jutland, comments:when visitors come to see REGAN vest, it’s not ​’just’ a museum they are visiting. it’s the overall concept of the exhibition, the learning centre, the bunker, the nature and the home of the chief engineer at the bunker and his family — and AART has managed to bring all of this together in one package.

AART cold war museum
image by AART

AART cold war museum
image by AART and thoegersen stouby



project info:


project title: REGAN vest — the danish cold war museum

architecture: AART architects

location: rold skov, denmark

project type: visitor and exhibition building

landscape architect: SLA

exhibition architect: thøgersen & stouby

engineer: niras

size: 1,200 square meters

developer: the historical museum of northern jutland (in danish ‘nordjyllands historiske museum’)

status: beginning early 2020, expected completion 2021

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    504,241 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    designboom magazine