A team led by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects has won a competition for the design of the New Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark. When completed, the “sustainable and climate-resilient” museum will house five Viking ships dating from over 1,000 years ago.
A total of 42 teams comprising 130 studios bid for the scheme, with the five finalist teams containing high-profile studios such as Foster + Partners, 3XN, CF Møller, Snøhetta, and Dorte Mandrup. The winning team comprised Copenhagen-based Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, Marianne Levinsen Landskab, Christoffer Harlang Architects, Aaen Engineering, Niras Engineering, and JAC Studios.
The winning proposal sees a new building constructed of timber in reference to homes and ships from the Viking Age as well as modern buildings around the harbor. Despite its large volume, the scheme’s design “humbly steps to the side and gives space to the dramatic nature around the fjord and all the activities the Viking Ship Museum already has,” according to the team. The building’s timber structural details are also to be left exposed in a rhythm that mirrors the site’s existing Viking Ship Hall.
In addition to the new building, the existing Viking Ship Hall is to be retained and renewed with “alterations that respect the building’s great architectonic qualities.” Approximately 90% of the building’s concrete and 80% of its bricks are to be retained, while the entire facade of the building facing the town will be rebuilt to become more open and enticing to visitors.
The western side of the hall is to be opened up with a large, public fjord plaza which will also be used as a slipway for the museum’s ships. “The Hall will thus relinquish the ships but will take on a new function, inviting the public even closer to the maritime life by the fjord and the sea, which has been the lifeblood of people for thousands of years,” the team explains.
“As architects, this is a dream come true,” said Lundgaard & Tranberg founder Lene Tranberg. “We have the opportunity to work in the borderland between both protecting and renewing the unique cultural heritage, which both the Viking ships and the Viking Ship Hall represent.”
“From the outset, we have been focused on finding the obvious and strong solution, which can both engage the potential this special place has while preserving free access to the fjord for the general public,” Tranberg added. “We have positioned the new museum building in such a way that it unites the three very different groups of buildings and at the same time, creates space and a natural transition to the landscape between them. It creates a unified museum experience with the fjord and the beach meadow — indeed, with nature as the great, unifying force.”
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