Dorte Mandrup: a whale-shaped observatory in the Arctic Circle

The Danish architecture studio is the winner of the competition for New Arctic whale watching attraction. The Whale is a cultural building that aims to increase the understanding of these animals and preserve the marine life.

The winners of the international competition promoted by The Whale AS for New Arctic attraction have been announced: the Danish architecture studio Dorte Mandrup A/S – together with Marianne Levinsen LAndskab and the consultants JAC Studios, Thornton Tomasetti, Nils Øien and Anders Kold – will build The Whale, actually looking like the gigantic mammal’s tail. The cultural building will be located in Northern Norway, 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, one of the best places for whale watching.

The project aims to increase the understanding of these animals and preserve the marine life at the same time. With a roof covered with stones, the giant tail merges with the rocky landscape and its curved shape seems to move on the shore where it is going to be built. Inside, exhibition spaces, offices, a cafè and a store will be connected to the nature thanks to large windows. Expected to be completed in 2022, the project is a chance to increase tourism on Andøya island, that has already 50,000 visitors per year right now. BIG, Snøhetta and Reiulf Ramstad were among the other participants in the competition.

The Whale
Andenes, Norway
Cultural building
Dorte Mandrup A/S
Thornton Tomasetti
Landscape architect:
Marianne Levinsen Landskab
Exhibition design:
JAC Studios
Art consultant:
Anders Kold
Whale researcher:
Nils Øien
The Whale AS
4,500 sqm
Expected 2022

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