Former Nazi Hideout Becomes Danish Museum via Ground Zero Architect
A museum designed by the renowned architect Bjarke Ingels, made of a repurposed a WWII bunker, was opened by Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik on Thursday, June 29.
Amidst the white dunes and briny sea-grasses of Blavand, Denmark, imposing concrete bunkers jut out of the sand like sleeping giants. They are remnants from Hitler’s Atlantic Wall defenses, which once stretched all the way from Norway to the Pyrenees between France and Spain.
The Tirpitz museum, which is partially underground, emerges from the dunes almost as if it were part of the landscape. It features four subterranean exhibition spaces, three of which are permanent.
The permanent exhibits, created by the Dutch imagineer group Tinker, take visitors through a journey of the region’s natural and modern history.
One of the exhibits, called Gold of the West Coast, features the largest collection of amber in Europe. Another, titled Army of Concrete, tells the personal journeys of seven persons during WWII. The third exhibit, West Coast Stories, shows the natural history of the region going back 100,000 years.
The museum is connected via an underground tunnel to the Tirpitz bunker, which was built in 1944 as the war was ending in Europe. It’s also the largest bunker constructed by the Nazis.
Ingels, the Dutch architect and founder of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is known for designing one of the Ground Zero skyscrapers in New York, as well as Google’s headquarters in California and London.
The museum expects about 100,000 visitors annually.
After touring the museum, Prince Frederick expressed his admiration for the new building remarking that, “in due time, we will have plenty of people lining up here from most of Northern Europe to come and visit and get enlightened by history and prehistory.”