In 2022 an architectural design work entitled “The Whale“ will be completed in Norway.
Its construction was taken over by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, a Danish studio based in Copenhagen founded in 1996 by Mandrup.
The Whale will be a major new Norwegian tourist attraction in Andenes, in the northernmost part of Andøya, an island located in the Arctic Circle and a strategic point to appreciate the view. Compared to many other places in the far north, the Gulf Stream creates a welcoming climate for many migrating whales, which is the reason why it attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The building rises like a soft hill on the rocky shore.
The shape of the roof is defined by three high points on the site and the foundation is influenced by the landscape below.
The roof surface is covered with unprocessed natural stone from the area and the large windows that open towards the archipelago underline the link between landscape and building and the contrast between sea and mountains.
The curved roof becomes a new point of view on which visitors and locals are invited to walk. From here you can look out over the archipelago, admire the reflection of the midnight sun in the ocean and the Northern Lights – preferably visible in the period of the year between the end of September and the beginning of March -.
The interior of The Whale will feature a minimalist and functional design to welcome many tourists.
The Whale will also be used as an exhibition space with offices, bars, and shops and relax areas to allow tourists maximum comfort. The exhibition inside will focus on the encounter between whale and man, nature and culture. Through art and science, the visit to The Whale will be a poetic exploration of different universes – under and over the water – inspired by the whale’s journey around the world. A journey into the oceans where boundaries are not defined by geographical lines, nationalities or drawn by culture.
The aim of this work is to create an innovative building in the heart of Norwegian nature but also raise awareness of people’s respect for the species especially through the information on the cause of poaching and the protection of their natural habitat.
Text by Anna Cardaci