Inside ‘The Whale’ museum opening in the Arctic Circle

Posted by Imogen Searra on 28 October 2020

‘The Whale’ museum is an architectural feast for the eyes and will open in the Norwegian Island of Andøya in 2022.

The project site is revered for its spectacular views as well as its proximity to whale migration paths. Danish architect Dorte Mandrup is the firm behind The Whale.

Andenes, which is a settlement of Andøya in the northernmost part of the island, would be the perfect place for The Wale to be built.

Construction of the museum, however, was put on hold as a discovery of a settlement mound dating back to Viking times, a well-known site in Andenes, was bigger than initially thought.

Development near the site uncovered more of the mound which made the space a protected area under the Cultural Heritage Act. The area has since been declared the largest settlement mound, of this particular type, in Norway.

On October 15 the decision was overturned as The Whale will play a significant cultural and tourism role for the island, while still respecting the historic nature of the site.

A flying humpback whale, a family of bronze killer whales, and a luminescent whale skeleton. These are some of the things you can expect to meet when entering the softly curved Arctic attraction in Northern Norway.

‘The Whale is not going to be a traditional natural history museum, conventional art museum, or regular experience center. But it will combine the best of all types – and create something entirely new,’ says general manager Børre Berglund.

New concept images of The Whale were recently shared by the firm and it looks like it is going to be an epic experience.

The exterior of The Whale is the spitting image of a whale tail emerging from the water.

An exhibition stand within the museum.

A close up of the exterior with sweeping views of the ocean.

‘The whale stranded’ says the firm. A single curved concrete shell makes up the roof of The Whale. This parabolic form effectively transmits the forces to three support points in the corners of the building, creating a large, inner column-free room.

Another interior shot of the museum.


Pictures: Dorte Mandrup 

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