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Denmark has chosen one of their own, the Copenhagen and New York-based Bjark Ingels Group (BIG) to design the Blåvand Bunker Museum, a structure to be located—or more specifically embedded—in a historic seaside site where German forces occupied Denmark during World War II. Ingels slices into the landscape and builds lightly out of glass atop the ruin of a massive concrete bunker, all of which will be recreated to serve a completely different purpose.
The eye is immediately drawn to what looks like a pair of massive glass guns sitting atop the concrete bunker adjacent an incised hilly landscape of grass-covered dunes, creating a surreal Wonderland on the Danish coast, although it’s unclear how Alice, a cheshire cat, and a late rabbit (all of which appear in the renderings) are connected to a World War II museum.
The museum’s entrance is accessed through a gap in a landscape that appears sliced and peeled back, allowing Ingels to preserve the old bunker’s impermeability. Visitors are guided from paths traversing the hilly landscape into a sunken courtyard defining four distinct volumes behind glass walls, providing views of the galleries and hints of what’s inside.
The four split units—each with different functions—hold three museums and one special exhibition gallery. Inside the lower levels of the museum, an underground tunnel connects to the adjacent bunker and gun turret. Rising from the stronghold of the bunker, a dramatic spiral staircase ascends to a gun turret reimagined as a greenhouse-like glass room, contrasting the rough concrete of the existing bunker. The guns themselves house telescopes looking out onto the North Sea. The Blåvand Bunker Museum presents the old and new in a delicate balance, allowing bright skylights and modern white staircases to play off the ominous aura of a war bunker.