on may 17 2020, the jewish museum berlin will welcome ANOHA — a new children’s museum designed by seattle-based architecture practice olson kundig. designed explicitly for the museum’s youngest visitors, the design concept combines the story of noah from the torah, with interactive exhibits that teach children about caring for the environment and the importance of supporting one another and working together.
during a recent trip to berlin, designboom visited ANOHA and spoke with olson kundig’s design principal alan maskin. see the video above and let him guide you through this magnificent project.
designboom visited ANOHA, a new children’s museum in berlin
all images © designboom unless otherwise noted
following an international design competition which attracted over 100 submissions, olson kundig was awarded the commission for a fresh museum experience at the jewish museum berlin. dubbed ANOHA — a made-up word shortened from the museum’s original name arche noah — the extension features a new circular ark structure constructed from wood and placed within the 70,000-square-foot (65,000 square-meter) former flower market hall. rather than replicating a historic biblical ark form, ANOHA is a modern ark inspired by two disparate sources: an ancient sumerian text discovered a decade ago that describes a circular ark, and the ship from stanley kubrick’s film 2001: a space odyssey.
the scheme by olson kundig was chosen following an international design competition
image courtesy of olson kundig
set inside a preexisting concrete structure, ANOHA’s curvilinear form offers a softening counterpoint to the rectilinear space where it’s housed, allowing for a passive design that is unusual in museum buildings. the design also uses this concrete structure to create a tempered environment that supports passive conditioning strategies, encouraging visitors to consider their surroundings as an integral part of the experience.
the project features a new circular ark structure constructed from wood
naturally ventilated and passively lit, ANOHA is occupied with interactive play experiences that include an ark design/build activity, and many ventures for visitors to help care for a menagerie of 150 animals fabricated locally from re-used objects. this approach encourages children to consider the importance of recycling and adaptive re-use, while supporting ANOHA’s core philosophy of creativity and imagination. the tactile nature of these sculptural objects and the sense of playful discovery as children recognize familiar materials used to make them further serve to highlight the importance of respecting and treasuring global resources.
nick hufton of hufton + crow, photographing the interior spaces at ANOHA
‘with ANOHA, the jewish museum berlin has created one of the few interactive experiences for children that actively engages issues of climate change. the story of the flood and the ark is accessible and familiar for children, viewed through a contemporary lens where everyone is expected to participate as stewards,’ commented alan maskin, design principal, olson kundig.
image courtesy of olson kundig
set inside a preexisting structure, a curvilinear form offers a softening counterpoint to the rigidity of the site
the passive design of the project is unusual in museum buildings
ANOHA is occupied with interactive play experiences throughout
olson kundig’s design principal alan maskin with a bear at the exhibit
150 animals have been fabricated locally from re-used objects
the sculptural animals seek to encourage children to consider the importance of recycling
the engaging pieces emphasize ANOHA’s core philosophy of creativity and imagination
exhibits are under construction as the museum readies for its opening on may 17, 2020
interactive elements for play and participation can be found throughout the museum’s exhibitions
the tactile nature of the sculptural objects highlight the importance of respecting global resources
a sense of playful discovery is encouraged, as children recognize familiar materials used to make the animals
the theme of the biblical ark is continued with graphics of animals
name: ANOHA – the children’s world of the jewish museum
architects: olson kundig
location: berlin, germany
design principal: alan maskin
project manager: stephen yamada-heidner
project architect: martina bendel
architecture in berlin (38 articles)
architecture in germany (164 articles)
museums and galleries (233 articles)
olson kundig architects (30 articles)
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