Three years of renovation, after a fire in April 2015, Denmark’s world class science center reopens better than ever.
Copenhagen’s child-friendly science and tech hot spot Experimentarium has finally opened its doors again in Tuborg Havn in Hellerup. Located 15 minutes north of the center of Copenhagen and designed by Danish firm CEBRA Architecture, the museum now has a roof terrace, 16 exhibits on 1,500 square meters spread across four floors, and the world’s first interactive cinema equipped with motion sensors, where everyone in the auditorium has to cooperate.
The interactive exhibitions focus on science and technology, and the Interactive Film Theatre was developed by Experimentarium and the Canadian science center Science North and made possible by a donation from TrygFonden. The redesign has added a large café and a picnic-area, a convention center, teaching facilities and a series of workshops, as well as the popular exhibits the Bubblearium, The Idea Company and House of Inventions.
The twisting double helix located at the building’s entrance contains 160 tons of steel and is clad with 10 tons of copper.
“We consume passive entertainment at an all-time high and we surround ourselves with devices that help us do almost everything,” says Experimentarium project manager, Henrik Helsgaun. “But when technology and entertainment go hand in hand in the right way, we can also create physical experiences that inspire us to become more active — just like The Interactive Film Theatre does,” he adds.
Experimentarium plays an important role as an informal learning space and as a supplement to schools and upper secondary education. The interactive exhibits explore everything from the human body to the fascinating science of soap bubbles.
“We provide families, schools classes and science-lovers in general, across all ages, with high-quality science exhibitions, where you’re allowed to touch and play and experience science in an innovative, new way,” writes Experimentarium on its website.
“The new Experimentarium offers hours of phenomenal experiences. But Experimentarium can also be summed up in that single moment when the spark of curiosity ignites and you suddenly see the light in a new way. Curiosity is the stuff the Experimentarium is made of — and curiosity is where the discovery of science and technology starts,” says Kim Gladstone Herlev, CEO.
The building itself is also rather remarkable. CEBRA won the architectural competition in 2011 to design the new Experimentarium and its design makes the museum feel much bigger and lighter than the previous incarnation. The architectural centerpiece is the curving copper clad Helix staircase inspired by the DNA molecule’s spiral shape.
The architects reused wall structures and foundations from the old Tuborg bottling plant, which was also the setting for the first Experimentarium, and added boxes, made partly of recycled beer and aluminum cans, to the shiny perforated exterior and large glass windows, creating a much lighter and open feeling.
Kolja Nielsen, chief executive of CEBRA, said: “We have designed a building that reflects and supports Experimentarium’s exciting exhibits. Both the interior and exterior are strongly inspired by science and technology.”
Experimentarium has long been a public favorite, attracting over 8 million visitors since opening in 1991. The new Experimentarium expects half a million visitors in 2017 and hopes to attract more international tourists and day visitors from across Denmark and neighbors from Sweden and Norway.
Crown Prince Frederik was among the dignitaries who took part in the official opening ceremony January. 25.
Images via CEBRA Architecture
Experimentarium City in Copenhagen Reopened, written by Tor Kjolberg