A special kind of museum – The Whale Norway

Andenes in Norway is one of the best places in the world for whale watching. This is due to the geological formation – a canyon under the surface of the water which runs almost to the shore and allows the passage from land to whale-friendly depths in just a short boat ride. The whole area is blessed with an abundance of sea life, including several species of whale which frolic off-shore all year round. The first whale-watching station in Andenes was established in 1988 and it has grown from strength to strength, now forming a major tourist attraction.

The Whale Norway is to be built in northern Norway, some 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, where the long low building, reminiscent of the magnificent creatures the centre will celebrate, will blend in beautifully and discreetly with its surroundings. The building has been designed by the competition winner, Danish architect’s studio Dorte Mandrup A/S.

The aim of The Whale Norway is to celebrate not only the animals themselves, but their relationships with humans throughout the years, in diverse fields such as art and sciences. The Whale aims to take the best features of science laboratories, art exhibitions, nature reserves and natural history museums and transcend all of these into one new and unique experience for tourists to enjoy and admire. Unusually for such places, it is not only the known that will be celebrated, but also how much is yet left to learn.

The Whale Norway combines art and science

The Whale Norway aims to ‘create awareness, inspire learning about, and conservation of whales and their environment through an unforgettable and extraordinary experience.’ 2021 will mark the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, during which nations will work to bolster knowledge of the oceans and inspire interest in marine environments and animals by working closely with those who are in daily contact with them, from organisations to fishermen to researchers. Issues such as maintaining good levels of biodiversity, managing marine resources and the impact of climate change will all play their part in informing visitors about the challenges faced by the magnificent animals they have come to learn about.

The Whale will open in June 2023.

You can read this and many more interesting reports in the Eat & Travel Magazine Winter Edition 2020.

Photos © The Whale / Architecture Dorte Mandrup AS. Renderings by MIR, Bergen

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