Newly opened at the Berlin’s Jewish Museum, this architectural project by Alan Maskin from Seattle, based “Olson Kundig Architects”, interprets the ark in a new form with animal installations. Now one of the museum’s permanent installations, it has been designed for the youngest visitors, aimed at those between the ages of three and ten years old. It is situated inside a 70,000 square foot 1960’s wholesale flower market, which operated until 2012 when it was taken over by the museum, which then turned part of it into a library and education unit.
The central space has a doughnut style shape, which can be used for events. Standing just over 7m tall, with a 28m diameter, this is a self-supporting structure made from spruce and supported by 40 arched trusses. The unique shape was inspired by a Sumerian tablet, which showed a round ark, including dimensions and the materials to be used in construction, and combining this with a contemporary twist by looking at the fictional spaceship ‘Discovery One’, from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 “A Space Odyssey”.
The resulting space shows an amazing imaginative area, with interactive exhibitions, to show the story of Noah’s Ark; with ramps; tunnels, and areas to open and investigate. 150 animal sculptures made by local artists using recycled materials adorn the area, where the emphasis is for kids to touch and move the animals. Rooms that are adjacent to the ark are cleverly linked, including a dark corridor with digitally projected rainfall.
Photography by Nick Hufton of Hufton+Crow