Thousands of visitors flock to Norway each year in the hope of catching a glimpse at mighty migrating whales off the country’s north coast.
And soon these tourists visitors will be able to learn all about these magnificent animals at this incredible new attraction, which has been designed to ‘grow out of the dramatic Norwegian landscape’.
The building, aptly called The Whale, will ‘tell the tale of this fabled creature through art, science and architecture’ to visitors and locals.
A rendering of The Whale, an incredible new tourist attraction that will be built n Andenes on the island of Andøya, which is a part of Norway within the Arctic Circle
The Whale will ‘tell the tale of this fabled creature through art, science and architecture’ to visitors looking to embark on whale watching trips
It will be constructed in Andenes on the island of Andøya, which is a part of Norway within the Arctic Circle.
It has been designed by Danish architecture firm Dorte Mandrup, which won an international competition to create the new attraction.
According to the firm, The Whale will rise ‘naturally as a soft hill on the rocky shore as if a giant has lifted a thin layer of the crust and created a cavity underneath’.
It adds: ‘Visitors and locals are invited up to walk on the roof and have an unspoiled view at the ocean, the mountains, the midnight sun or the Northern Lights dancing on the sky.
‘The curved roof will be covered with stones that naturally patinate and underline the connection between the Norwegian landscape and the building.
The Whale has been designed by Danish architecture firm Dorte Mandrup, which won an international competition to create the new attraction
‘The parabolic form of the roof is defined by three high points on the site, and the foundation is informed by the landscape beneath it.
‘Large windows that open toward the archipelago underline the connection between landscape and building and create a visual connection between the exhibition spaces and the vast natural surroundings.’
The building will house exhibition spaces, offices, a café, and a store and is expected to open in 2022.
Andenes welcomes around 50,000 visitors each year, with most visiting to take part in whale watching.
A rendering of what the inside of The Whale will look like. The building will house exhibition spaces, offices, a café, and a store and is expected to open in 2022
This is because several nautical miles from the north shore of Andenes are the dark waters of a continental shelf that are up to 1,000 metres deep with a huge stock of squid, which attracts the migrating whales.
However, it is not expected that the migrating whales will swim in the waters directly next to the new building, so visitors will still have to take a boat out to deeper waters nearby to spot them.
Although if they are lucky – tourists might spot dolphins making their way past the proposed property instead.
Børre Berglund, CEO of The Whale AS and head of the jury for the architectural competition, said: ‘Choosing a winner of the architectural competition has been a major challenge because we had several proposals of a very high quality.
Visitors can walk up on the roof and have an ‘unspoiled view at the ocean, the mountains, the midnight sun or the Northern Lights dancing on the sky’
‘However, the project from Dorte Mandrup is a clear winner and meets the competition criteria in the best way.
‘It is poetic and low-key and at the same time a very exciting and unusual building. We look forward to working with Dorte Mandrup to realise The Whale in Andenes. With this fantastic proposal, we have what it takes to create a world-class attraction.’
While founder and creative director, Dorte Mandrup, added: ‘Located this far north, Andøya is a unique place and The Whale an extraordinary project. Not only will we be creating architecture in yet another remarkable landscape, but we will also take part in increasing the understanding of whales and the preservation of marine life.
‘Right here on the edge of the ocean, we will be making a mark in a magnificent and ancient landscape. This opportunity comes with great responsibility, which is extremely motivating and inspiring.’