Norwegian architects have had a whale of a time designing this new marine museum.
The Whale museum in Adenes is the brainchild of Danish architectural studio Dorte Mandrup, and it's "Beached Az". Taking inspiration from the massive marine mammals, the building is formed from a single concrete shell like the humped back of a whale.
From shore it looks as though a leviathan has beached itself on the coast, while from the many whale-watching vessels at sea, it resembles a massive tail.
The novel structure allows for a large support-free cavity, meaning there's plenty of exhibition space within the belly of the beast.
"The Whale is not going to be a traditional natural history museum," said Børre Berglund, the museum's general manager. Suspended from the roof are the remains of bronze killer whales and a 15 metre-long humpback. Exhibitions are designed to make the most of the space to illustrate the incredible scale and unlikely similarities between humans and these ocean going mammals.
Having risen to the top of her competition with her Whale-like design, architect Dorte Mandrup told Travel & Leisure the building was perfectly suited for its non-invasive structure "the landscape above and under the water is one continuous skin".
This is an important consideration when preserving the remarkable natural surroundings.
Located on the island of Andøya on the northern Arctic coast of Norway, the area is famous for migrating whales which navigate the deep-sea canyon every year.
However, whales are not the only surprising thing lurking beneath the surface. The building was delayed by the discovery of Viking remains. The medieval Andøya settlement grew up on the island drawn by the areas rich fishing and – of course – whaling opportunities.
The museum is on track to open to the public for late 2023.
For more information visit thewhale.no