after plans were first revealed in 2012, BIG is celebrating the opening of its TIRPITZ museum on the shorelands of blåvand in western denmark. embedded into the landscape, the ‘sanctuary in the sand’ transforms a historic german WWII bunker into an expansive cultural complex housing sunken galleries, exhibition areas and an events venue. the museum subtly emerges as a series of precise cuts in the landscape, contrasting the heavy volume of the existing bunker. as they approach, visitors can observe the fine slices and narrow paths that lead towards the center of the complex.

big tirpitz
image by mike bink (main image by rasmus hjortshøj)

 

 

‘the architecture of the TIRPITZ is the antithesis to the WWII bunker,’ bjarke ingels, BIG’s founding partner, explains.the heavy hermetic object is countered by the inviting lightness and openness of the new museum. the galleries are integrated into the dunes like an open oasis in the sand – a sharp contrast to the nazi fortress’ concrete monolith. the surrounding heath-lined pathways cut into the dunes from all sides descending to meet in a central clearing, bringing daylight and air into the heart of the complex. the bunker remains the only landmark of a not so distant dark heritage that upon close inspection marks the entrance to a new cultural meeting place.’

big tirpitz
image by mike bink

 

 

TIRPITZ is made from four main materials — concrete, steel, glass and wood — which draw from the existing structures and landscape of the area. a central courtyard allows access into the four underground gallery spaces, where 6 meter tall glass panels draw an abundance of daylight inside the venues — even though they are literally carved into the sand. the walls of the exhibition rooms are made from concrete cast on-site, and support the structures’s sprawling roof decks, the largest of which weighs about 1,090 tons and cantilevers 36 meters outwards. inside, the main materials distributed throughout the galleries are wood and hot rolled steel, which is applied to all the interior walls.

big tirpitz
image by mike bink

 

 

‘the new TIRPITZ is planned, built and furnished as a portal to the danish west coast’s treasure trove of hidden stories,’ said claus kjeld jensen, director of varde museum, commissioners of the project. ‘it has been our goal to create a humble, world-class attraction surprising its visitors with new perspectives on the majestic landscape. our guests deserve the best; with BIG’s limitless and inviting architecture and with tinker imagineers’ wondrous and playful exhibitions, I feel we have achieved this. TIRPITZ is an incredible, one-of-a-kind experience – violent, astonishing, dramatic, hidden – almost invisible.’

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

 

 

the exhibitions have been designed by dutch agency tinker imagineers, and display both permanent and temporary shows. every gallery has its own aesthetic and theme: ‘army of concrete’ tells the human stories in the shadow of hitler’s ‘atlantic wall’ project; ‘gold of the west coast’ is a comprehensive exhibition of amber, presented in an enchanting amber forest; and ‘west coast stories’ depicts 100,000 years of the coast’s history and is turned into a nighttime 4D theatre.

 

the construction of the 2,800 square meter ‘invisible museum’ expected to attract around 100,000 visitors annually.

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz
image by rasmus hjortshøj

big tirpitz

image by mike bink

big tirpitz
image by mike bink

big tirpitz
image by frederik lyng

big tirpitz
image by laurian ghinitou

big tirpitz
image by laurian ghinitou

 

 

project info:

 

name: tirpitz
year: 2017
type: commission
client: vardemuseerne
program: culture
status: completed
size in square meters: 2800
collaborators: akt, lüchinger+meyer, tinker imagineers, kloosterboer decor, big ideas, fuldendt, cowi, svend ole hansen, gade & mortensen akustik, bach landskab, ingeniørgruppen syd, kjæhr & trillingsgaard, pelcon
location: blåvand, denmark

  • Looks a lot Fitness center Carlos Ferrator, office OAB Madrid

    michael says:

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