"The Danish National Maritime Museum"
Designer(s): Design Team Kossmann.dejong, Netherlands
Category: Interior Design, Professional
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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.
About the Designer/Company
Kossmann.dejong, exhibition architects, is an Amsterdam-based design agency that focuses on exhibition and interior architecture. The agency was founded in 1998 by Herman Kossmann (1958) and Mark de Jong (1960), both graduated in architecture at the Technical University in Delft. Kossmann.dejong has grown into an agency with around 25 employees.
A connection between content and imagination is what characterises Kossmann.dejong´s design approach. It manages to do this while making complex design issues accessible to a broad audience and to transform them into intrinsic experiences. The agency combines a range of disciplines and media that enable it to tell spatial stories. Film, lighting and sound are indispensable media in generating experiences. The subjects of their exhibitions range from architecture, history of psychiatry, art for teenagers and micro-organisms.
Currently Kossmann.dejong is, among other projects, working on four museums for a cultural park in Taipei (Taiwan), the Coral Triangle Center in Bali (Indonesia), the Historisches Museum Frankfurt (Germany), microZOO for Artis (NL), the new National Military Museum in Soesterberg (NL) as well as an exhibition for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon (UK). Most recent projects are the photo exhibition ‘Jimmy Nelson- Hail the People’ for the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde Leiden (NL), the ‘Wonder Rooms’ for the Gemeentemuseum The Hague (NL) and the permanent exhibition for the Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingor (Denmark).