The museum will be located in Andenes, a small town on the Norwegian island of Andøya.
Mir/The Whale/Dorte Mandrup
  • Located on Andøya island in Norway, The Whale museum allows visitors to learn more about marine life and go whale watching.
  • Dorte Mandrup’s design for The Whale was chosen following strong competition from some of Europe’s biggest architects.
  • Development had been recently halted when an ancient Viking mound was discovered at the site, reports My Modern Met.
  • The Whale is now expected to open in 2022, and will include exhibition spaces, offices, a café, and a gift store
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Danish architectural studio Dorte Mandrup has released new images for a whale-watching viewpoint and education center that is shaped like an actual whale. 

Named The Whale, the center will be located in Andenes on the island of Andøya, around 300km north of the Arctic Circle. Andøya is the perfect place for whale watching because of the area’s deep-sea canyon, which makes it possible for large-toothed whales to feed close to shore. The canyon also helps whales to navigate during their yearly migration patterns.
The building's design is meant to look as if it has been "lifted from the ground by a giant."
Mir/The Whale/Dorte Mandrup

Dorte Mandrup’s vision for the building is to create a place that seamlessly blends into its landscape.

Speaking with Insider, Founder and Creative Director Dorte Mandrup described the building as an almost poetic ode to its surroundings, where “the landscape above and under the water is one continuous skin, making the surface of the water the only division between above and below.” She added that this provided inspiration for the building to look like it had gently been lifted from the ground to form a natural-looking mound.

Earlier this year, it was discovered that the site was home to an ancient Viking settlement mound that was much larger than they originally thought. It was then declared as protected under the Cultural Heritage Act as one of the largest settlements found in Norway.

Last month, the decision was overturned because of its touristic and cultural role in the area.
Floor to ceiling windows further connect the building to its natural surroundings.
Mir/The Whale/Dorte Mandrup

The Norwegian studio's design was the winner of a competition that saw entries from some of Europe's biggest architects including the Bjarke Ingels Group and Snøhetta. The design was chosen for its minimal and noninvasive structure which Børre Berglund, CEO of The Wale AS, described as a "very exciting and unusual building."

The building itself rises out of the ground, and is designed to look as if it has been "lifted by a giant" to reveal a cavity underneath which will house the center.
The center will house exhibition spaces, a café, offices, and various viewpoints.
Mir/The Whale/Dorte Mandrup

Inside, The Whale will house exhibition spaces, offices, a café, and a gift store all framed by large floor to ceiling windows that further connect the building with its natural landscape. The roof of the center will be paved with natural stone and lined with railings that allow visitors to climb to the top and be treated with another unique view of the surroundings, and whale-watching opportunities.
Because of its design, the roof is easily accessible and gives visitors another view of Andenes' beautiful scenery.
Mir/The Whale/Dorte Mandrup

From the ocean, the building would also resemble that of a whale's fin.

For Mandrup, The Whale is hoped to be an unforgettable experience that will "inspire and open a way for a meeting between human and whale, culture, and nature. Through art, science, and architecture."

The Whale is expected to open to the public in 2022.

Read the original article on Insider