The steel shell of the OZEANEUM - The OZEANEUM gleams white. Nearly as white as the driven snow, white as the clouds in the sky or the sails of a large ship. Now and then the shell reflects the bright red hue of the Stralsund sunset or changes to a soft gray like the dark sky above.

Shell is a fairly appropriate term here. It is only a few centimeters thick and has a special coating thanks to 360 steel plates. They appear extremely thin compared to the massive walls of this otherwise enormous structural body, but only weighs a total of 800 metric tons.

At the time, the decision to go for a steel shell seemed rather architecturally adventurous, and the outcome was fairly uncertain. The model was designed with a wood cladding made of small shingles, but the decision was later changed in favor of the large steel plates typically used in shipbuilding. But making these fit the curves and free form of the museum’s structure was considered a masterpiece of engineering.

A digital 3-D computer model of the design made it possible to adjust the individual pieces, some of which were up to 16 meters tall, down to the last centimeter. The Stralsund-based company Ostseestaal produced the mold used to bend the sheets into the precise shapes needed. Each of the tall steel plates is unique, and every piece fits only into its own place. The assembly that followed was done by specialist Rügen-based company flz Lauterbach and what they achieved was a pioneering masterpiece. Building façades are usually not build using shipbuilding steel. The sheets are spot welded to the steel structure of the building without an additional static foundation.


  • Title: OZEANEUM cityscape
  • Location: Ozeaneum Stralsund, Stiftung Deutsches Meeresmuseum
  • Rights: photo: Johannes-Maria Schlorke

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