Statens Naturhistoriske MuseumEdit profile
The redevelopment and expansion of the Statens Naturhistoriske Museum is a unique opportunity to bring together in one place four institutions which together can tell stories of generations of researchers and collectors. While this redevelopment is very exciting it also brings with it a great responsibility to preserve what is best about Botanisk Have, while at the same time imagining a new future for the gardens. Botanisk Have is an integral part of the urban life of Copenhagen. Part of the special quality of Botanisk Have is its "secret" quality, protected from the bustle of the adjacent streets by a perimeter of trees and fencing, which ensure a strong sense of being "inside" or "outside" the garden. Botanisk Have is a "world within a world" – a magical quality heightened by the existence of idyllic landscape settings, rare plants and wondrous environments such as the glasshouse interior. Changes to the garden, particularly, a substantial increase in building within the garden, risk changing the character of the place irrevocably. In addition, a major new building would forever dilute the green band which runs along the old city ramparts and of which this garden forms an integral part. Thus, any new project must preserve the quality of the garden setting and enhance it via specific interventions, whilst joining the buildings together as a single built complex. This proposal suggests a way that the past and future histories of Botanisk Have and Statens Naturhistoriske Museum can be combined to create a dynamic, contemporary institution - but which comes out of the qualities of the existing context. Only by acknowledging how the gardens contribute to Copenhagen’s city fabric, can a proposal use the past to project into the future. This has been achieved by a observation of the existing garden character and in particular the cellular nature of the garden layout and path system. This cellular structure has been elaborated upon to create a collection of “bulbs` planted below the surface and which contain the various exhibition spaces of the Museum. Below these exhibition areas is a large collection and research area which can be viewed from above, showcasing the massive amount of material in the collection. The bulbs break the surface of the garden no more than is required to allow for light and ventilation to the spaces below. The key opportunity presented by Statens Naturhistoriske Museum is to add a new entry to the gar¬den - an entry which functions for the garden and which uses the museum as a marker in the city of this new entrance. The natural cellular geometry of the garden and museum is adjusted here as a single spire sprouts from the main entry bulb to identify the Museum in the greater city and to facilitate the new entry. The new Statens Naturhistoriske Museum is not a single building but a new layer to the garden experience.