Innovation That Matters

The Whale | Photo source Dorte Mandrup

Arctic Circle building for whale watching blends into landscape

Architecture & Design

The design of The Whale is intended to help visitors connect with both the land and with the whales they have come to see

Spotted: Danish design firm, Dorte Mandrup, has won a commission to build a new whale-watching centre that blends seamlessly into the landscape and evokes the shape of a whale. Appropriately named, The Whale, the new centre will be located in Norway, 185 miles north of the Arctic Circle, on the tip of the island of Andøya.

Just a few miles offshore of Andøya island lies the deep-sea valley of Bleiksdjupa, one of the best locations for spotting migrating whales. This has made the Andøya town of Andenes one of the best places in the world to spot whales.

The building will rise out of a soft hill on the rocky shore, which will appear as if the crust of the Earth has been pushed up to create a cavity underneath. The curve of the roof is reminiscent of the back of a whale as it moves through the ocean. The roof is capped with local stones, and visitors will be able to walk on it to view the sea, whales and even the northern lights.

The Whale will include large windows that open toward the sea, and the parabolic-shaped interior space will house exhibition spaces, offices, a café, and a store.

Springwise has seen a growing number of innovations in design and architecture aimed at drawing connections with the environment. Recently, these have included a city café that mimics the layout of rural villages and the world’s northernmost energy-positive building.




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