Kossmann.dejong designed the display for the new Danish National Maritime Museum. The exhibition spaces are underground, surrounding a former dry dock, and have irregular shapes with continuously sloping floors and ceilings. The challenge was to make use of the unique sculptural qualities of the building in the scenography, so that architecture (Bjarke Ingles Group) and interiors intensified each other. The metaphor that underpins the exhibition is that of a journey, which starts with an imagining of the universal yearning to discover far away shores and experience adventures at sea. A lighthouse projects dreamy images of shipping as depicted in art and culture. Portholes that have been transformed into showcases present the image of seamen as it has been shaped through the ages. Denmark’s maritime history, up until the significance of the contemporary shipping industry globally, is being told in a dynamic way, via themes such as ship, harbour, fleet, war, trade and globalisation. Impressive three-dimensional film installations have been used in the depiction of the themes. The interconnecting layer in the exhibition is the presentation of ‘cargo’. Piles of various goods illustrate the economic significance of the shipping industry, and the tremendous changes worldwide shipping has ushered in for the average consumer. The container, as the main protagonist in the expansion and standardisation of modern shipping, is literally put on a pedestal. The exhibition appeals to a broad audience through the intertwining of many different perspectives on the shipping industry. Rather than providing a singular technical view, the layered exhibition tells the story through multiple human perspectives. Through the eyes of sailors, ship owners, captains and sailors’ wives, visitors are introduced to the attractions of the harbour, life on board, and the skills required at sea. Through many ‘interactives’, visitors can learn to trade, navigate and even ink a tattoo.
Kossmann.dejong is an Amsterdam-based design studio specialising in exhibition design and interior architecture. With 20 years of experience, our portfolio includes over 80 projects worldwide, ranging from temporary and permanent exhibitions for museums to visitor centres, historic sites, brand experiences and engaging interiors. Through a combination of different media and collaboration across disciplines, we aim to design meaningful, narrative spaces that inspire visitors, appeal emotionally and provide lasting experiences.