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Denmark opens a museum that tells the stories of refugees worldwide

Museums

Denmark opens a museum that tells the stories of refugees worldwide

Located at the site of Denmark’s largest WWII refugee camp, the project converted the camp’s former hospital buildings.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | July 11, 2022
FLUGT lead image
Courtesy Rasmus Hjortshøj.

Located on the site of Denmark’s largest World War II refugee camp, the new Refugee Museum of Denmark, FLUGT, tells the stories of refugees from the camp as well as refugees worldwide. 

At 1,600 square meters (about 17,220 square feet), the museum was designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and exhibition designers Tinker Imagineers. Together, they adapted and extended one of the camp’s few remaining structures—a hospital—into the museum. 

“FLUGT seeks to give a voice and a face to humans who have been forced to flee their homes and capture the universal challenges, emotions, and nuances shared by refugees then and today,” Claus Kjeld Jensen, museum director, said in a statement.

The former hospital comprises two long buildings. BIG connected the two structures by adding a soft curve-shaped volume, which serves as a welcoming structure and creates 500 square meters (about 5,380 square feet) of additional museum space. From the outside, the volume welcomes visitors into a seemingly closed entry hall. But inside, a floor-to-ceiling curved glass wall reveals a sheltered green courtyard and the forest, where the refugee camp used to be. From the entry hall, which functions as a lobby or a temporary exhibition space, guests continue to one of the museum wings.

The north wing’s exhibition area contains gallery spaces organized according to the hospital’s original flow. The south wing includes a flexible conference room, smaller exhibition spaces, cafe, and back-of-house functions.

“We went into this project with all our heart to address one of the world’s greatest challenges—how we welcome and care for our fellow world citizens when they are forced to flee,” Bjarke Ingels, founding partner, BIG, said in the statement.

FLUGT ext 2
Courtesy Danyu Zeng.
FLUGT int
Courtesy Rasmus Hjortshøj.
FLUGT int 2
Courtesy Rasmus Hjortshøj.
FLUGT int 3
Courtesy Rasmus Hjortshøj.

 

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