Noah's Ark will be brought to life once again in the upcoming Children's Museum on the Jewish Museum Berlin campus. The Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation launched an invite-only international competition this past January wherein participants added their own spin in incorporating the biblical story in their proposals. Late last month, Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects won the commission. Berlin-based Staab Architekten won second place, while Michael Wallraff ZT GmbH of Vienna received third.
Authored by Olson Kundig owner and principal Alan Maskin, their team's approach to the concept ultimately won the jury's favor with its playful depiction of the essential themes of the Children's Museum. Visitors both young and old will get to experience the museum as if they were Noah, exploring the space through interactive and imaginative installations that tailor to kids ages 5-12 years old.
“The design by Olson Kundig has the potential to unpack the biblical story in all its relevance, as well as building connections with the present day—rescuing people and animals, the relationship between nature and civilization, and the chance to make a new beginning," stated Peter Schäfer, Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin.
It's been a solid year in competitions for Alan Maskin, whose team also scored first prize in Blank Space's 2016 Fairy Tales competition with the just-as-beautifully-drawn “Welcome to the 5th Facade”. Thrilled to hear that Olson Kundig will design the Noah's Ark-themed Children's Museum, Maskin said they focused on creating a modern retelling of the ancient story, aiming to provide a museum experience that inspires “a sense of hope and possibility”.
If all goes according to plan, the project is expected to be built by mid-2018 and then open to the public in 2019.
Find more project images below.