ark-1 Rendering: Olson Kundig

Seattle-based architecture firm Olson Kundig Architects recently won a contest to design a Noah’s Ark-themed children’s museum in Berlin.

The Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation launched an invite-only international competition at the beginning of the year calling for architects to weave the biblical story of Noah’s Ark into their proposals. Olson Kundig won first prize for its design.

ark-2 Rendering: Olson Kundig

“We are thrilled to have been awarded first place in this competition. The Noah’s Ark story, and the hundreds of flood narratives that precede the Old Testament story were a source of inspiration to our team. Our design approach was to create a modern retelling of the ancient story — an experience that provides a sense of hope and possibility to the people who will visit it,” said Alan Maskin, design principal of Olson Kundig.

ark-3 Rendering: Olson Kundig

The jury that chose Olson Kundig and recommended that it build the museum described the firm’s plan as follows: “[t]he scenography is extremely attractive and professional in terms of museum pedagogy. Its use of the Noah’s Ark motif playfully picks up on topical and relevant themes such as diversity, migration, creation, second chances, and new beginnings. The visitor is Noah, and can experience the multiple facets of these topics — on their own or in interaction and role-play.”

If all goes according to plan, the project should be built by mid-2018 and then open to the public in 2019.

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