Denmark-based architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) recently completed work on the new Danish National Maritime Museum. The museum is placed within a large pre-existing dry dock, and thus doesn’t unduly disrupt the local area – an important concern given its location adjacent to the historical Kronborg castle, as immortalized in Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Measuring a total of 6,500 sq m (70,000 sq ft), the Danish National Maritime Museum takes up the entirety of the former dry dock, and is sunk a total of 7 m (23 ft) into the ground. The dock’s 60 year-old walls were left untouched, and BIG installed three double-level bridges, in addition to several sloping areas, to make navigating the interior easier.
The museum features exhibition spaces dedicated to charting Denmark’s long seafaring history, looping around the dry dock’s walls. In addition, an auditorium, classroom, offices, a cafe, and an extensive library and archives section are also found inside.
BIG isn’t typically known for showing restraint in its larger-than-life projects, but to this author’s mind the Danish National Maritime Museum’s muscular mix of industrial and modern styling, combined with its novel construction, is familiar, but by no means vulgar.