Transforming a former German WWII bunker, within the protected shorelands of Blåvand in Denmark, the 2,500m2 (ca. 27,000 ft2) new museum will be composed of four main volumes, housing four independent institutions: a bunker museum, an amber museum, a history museum and a special exhibitions gallery – within an exhibition landscape carved out of the dunes.
Contrary to the existing closed concrete lump, the new museum will, in its architecture, function as an open heart integrated into the landscape. The museum is in every way the opposite of the militant history with its more closed, dark and heavy features. Organized around an open central square, the galleries allow much light and will give magnificent views to the surrounding countryside. The bunker is a war machine without holes for doors and windows and rejects all humanity. In contrast, the museum is integrated into the landscape and invites visitors inside.
We wanted a museum that was fully integrated into the landscape while at the same time being architecturally outstanding – functional, spectacular and invisible. BIG has created a harmonious and beautiful building that stands out in enormous contrast to the brutal Tirpitz bunker (adjacent to the new Museum), yet the design pays respect to the unique dune landscape. It is a fantastic place where we will be able to convey the big stories of Jutland. Thanks to the generous donation from the A.P. Møller Foundation this now becomes a reality.
Claus Kjeld Jensen, director of the Museum of Varde City and District
The new museum will be a cultural landmark attracting tourists to Varde as well as benefitting business in the region. I am deeply grateful to the A. P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation for this donation as it will contribute greatly for future generations to have access to knowledge about the history of Denmark.
Mayor Gylling Haahr
The Blåvand Bunker museum contributes further to BIG’s experience with museum design – playfully integrating landscape with cultural programs while preserving historic value and the natural environment. BIG recently completed the Danish National Maritime Museum in which crucial historic elements are integrated with an innovative concept of galleries. Other current cultural projects include the LEGO House in Billund, MECA Cultural Center in Bordeaux, France, Kimball Art Centre in Park City, Utah, USA, and the recently won competition for the new Human Body Museum in Montpellier, France.