A Walk in the Park

Friday 31 Aug 2012

A Garden of Natural History planned alongside a new Natural History Museum

A new Natural History Museum has been planned in the heart of Copenhagen. Its location is within the historical setting of the city's Botanical Garden. The concept to the left is the result of the collaboration between Kengo Kuma & Associates, Erik Møller Arkitekter, Thing & Wainø Landskabsarkitekter, Buro Happold, 2+1 idébureau and jaja architects, entered into a competition for the project. The competition was won by Lundgaard and Tranberg Arkitekter A/S.

The site creates potential for a museum that is more authentic, engaging and accessible for everyone. The architects believe that the Natural History Museum and the Botanical Garden should be a coherent and inseparable experience. 

It should be both the museum in the garden, and the garden in the museum. Unlike a conventional museum, where the experience begins inside, it should become a Garden of Natural History - a place where a stroll in the garden invites you into a natural historical journey and vice versa, a visit inside gives you the experience of the garden.

The Garden of Natural History mixes the experiences of the conventional museum and the classical garden into a series of unique spaces. The architects have described it to be like a "walk in the park" that is neither tiring nor intrusive. The design of the garden creates spatial variety within the museum, bringing daylight, vegetation, and views into interior spaces.

The Natural History Museum of Denmark has one of the world's largest and most comprehensive collections documenting the planet's history. In order to reflect this a new museum model has been proposed which is integrated respectfully within the landscape. At points it opens upwards to allow glimpses into the museum through a series of cuts in the landscape - glimpses that inspire, invite, and invoke the curiosity of passers-by to venture inside for the full experience.

Simultaneously the collection is brought into the garden, becoming more than just a part of the museum - it becomes a part of the city. The design of the museum truly makes the collection a part of the garden and the museum part of the city - which essentially makes it accessible to all members of the public.

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