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The Danish National Maritime Museum

Lead DesignersKossmann.dejong
ClientKossmann .dejong
Prize(s)Silver in Interior Design / Other
Project LinkView
Entry Description

Kossmann.dejong designed the display for the new Danish National Maritime Museum. The
exhibition spaces are underground, surrounding a former dry dock, and have irregular
shapes with continuously sloping floors and ceilings. The challenge was to make use of the
unique sculptural qualities of the building in the scenography, so that architecture
(Bjarke Ingles Group) and interiors intensified each other.

The metaphor that underpins the exhibition is that of a journey, which starts with an
imagining of the universal yearning to discover far away shores and experience adventures
at sea. A lighthouse projects dreamy images of shipping as depicted in art and culture.
Portholes that have been transformed into showcases present the image of seamen as it has
been shaped through the ages.

Denmark’s maritime history, up until the significance of the contemporary shipping
industry globally, is being told in a dynamic way, via themes such as ship, harbour,
fleet, war, trade and globalisation. Impressive three-dimensional film installations have
been used in the depiction of the themes.

The interconnecting layer in the exhibition is the presentation of ‘cargo’. Piles of
various goods illustrate the economic significance of the shipping industry, and the
tremendous changes worldwide shipping has ushered in for the average consumer. The
container, as the main protagonist in the expansion and standardisation of modern
shipping, is literally put on a pedestal.

The exhibition appeals to a broad audience through the intertwining of many different
perspectives on the shipping industry. Rather than providing a singular technical view,
the layered exhibition tells the story through multiple human perspectives. Through the
eyes of sailors, ship owners, captains and sailors’ wives, visitors are introduced to the
attractions of the harbour, life on board, and the skills required at sea. Through many
‘interactives’, visitors can learn to trade, navigate and even ink a tattoo.


Kossmanndejong is an Amsterdam-based design studio specialised in exhibition design and interior architecture. With 25 years of experience, our portfolio includes over 80 projects worldwide, ranging from temporary and permanent exhibitions for museums to visitor centers, historic sites, brand experiences and engaging interiors. Through a combination of different media and collaboration across disciplines, we aim to design meaningful, narrative spaces that inspire visitors, appeal emotionally and provide lasting experiences.

Awards and Prize

- Council of Europe Museum Prize 2019 for Museum fur Kommunikation Bern
- European Design award 2019 for FAKE. The Whole Truth
- Grand Prix 2019 for National Maritime Museum of Iceland
- Museums + Heritage Award 2018
- Interior Design Firm of the Year 2017 from the American Architecture Prize
- Project of Influence 2017 for Micropia
- European Design Award 2017 for Offshore Experience
- Kenneth Hudson Award 2016 for Micropia
- Themed Entertainment Award for Outstanding Achievement 2014 for Wonderkamers
- SEGD Global Design Award 2014 for Longing for Mecca
- several International Design & Communication Awards