'The Whale' will be Norway’s next stunning visitor attraction
Located 300km north of the Arctic Circle, the building will also offer amazing views of the island's rugged natural landscape and is expected to open in 2022. The 1000m-deep, dark, cold waters of Andøya's northwestern shore attract abundant stocks of squid, which in turn attract the squid-loving sperm whales. As a result, whale-watching is a huge attraction in Andenes, which already has 50,000 yearly visitors.
In celebration of this, Danish architecture firm, Dorte Mandrup, has been selected to create The Whale. It says that the design of the building will make it appear as if it's growing out of the dramatic Norwegian landscape. "It rises naturally as a soft hill on the rocky shore as if a giant has lifted a thin layer of the crust of the earth and created a cavity underneath," it says. "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 of the building will be covered with stones that underline the connection between the Norwegian landscape and the building. It will house exhibition spaces, offices, a café and a store, and will tell the story of the big inhabitants of the underwater world.
"It is poetic and low-key and at the same time a very exciting and unusual building," says Børre Berglund, CEO of The Whale AS and head of the jury for the architectural competition. "With this fantastic proposal, we have what it takes to create a world class attraction."