Architecture - World heritage meets the modern age

Ozeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

Ozeaneum, Stiftung Deutsches Meeresmuseum

OZEANEUM on Stralsund's Harbour Island opened its doors to the public for the first time in July 2008. With more than half a million visitors a year, OZEANEUM has become an extremely popular and first-rate attraction. In May 2010, OZEANEUM received the European Museum of the Year Award 2010.

Aerial view of the OZEANEUMOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum


View of the OZEANEUM construction site: The building was constructed on a stretch of land on Stralsund's Harbour Island that had previously only been partially developed.

Attaching a total of 800 metric tons of heavy steel platesOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

The steel vessel of OZEANEUM: The 360 steel plates seem wafer-thin when compared with the mighty walls of the rest of the building – yet they weigh a total of 800 metric tons. While the steel shell may have appeared to be a rather adventurous architectural experiment, its design in fact mimics a ship's hull. To construct a museum with such curves and free forms is a masterful feat of engineering – no two plates are the same, and each one is designed to fit into its own unique place.martime Erbe...

Construction workers planning the installation of the tank's display panel using a model. The position of the cranes must be precisely calculated.Ozeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

In September 2007, the five-metre-wide pane of acrylic glass for OZEANEUM's largest tank was installed. Engineers planned the installation process in painstaking detail using a model, as no fifty-square-metre glass pane will fit through a door.

The 22-metric-ton panel is positioned in place by the craneOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's biggest display window: The mammoth 22-ton pane hovers above the building site. Panes of glass of this size are not available in Europe. The 30-centimetre-thick acrylic glass pane was manufactured by Reynolds Polymer in Colorado, USA. It was then transported to Stralsund by ship.

Stralsund Habour with OzeaneumOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

OZEANEUM's curved white steel facade pays homage to the area's maritime history and blends harmoniously into Stralsund's cityscape.

OzeaneumOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

The OZEANEUM building consists of four amorphous sections, reminiscent of stones whose surface has been smoothened by water. The sections are connected by a glass foyer that's flooded with light.

Ozeaneum from a bird's-eye viewOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

The Concept

The construction of OZEANEUM created an exhibition space 8,700 square metres in size. The museum's main conceptional anchors include the Baltic Sea – "the sea at our doorstep" – as well as huge, full-scale model whales and an exhibition on the world's oceans. There is also an exhibition covering current issues in German marine research and one designed especially for children. The seawater tanks, some of which are truly enormous, invite visitors to take a journey that's unlike any other in Europe, through the underwater world of the Northern seas.

Floating sperm whale skeleton, weighing 1,200 kilogramsOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

Visitors access the exhibitions via a self-supporting escalator which, at 34 metres, is as long as a blue whale. The installation of the escalator was a milestone in the construction process, as only once this had been completed could the glass needed for the over 1,000 square metres of foyer surface be put in. At the top of the escalator, visitors have an exceptional view of Strela Sound, Rügen and the Rügen bridge constructed in 2007.

The movie room is modeled on the situation encountered in a submersible.Ozeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

What does it feel like to sink into the depths of the ocean in a submersible? The round, darkened room recreates the cramped feeling of being in a submersible, complete with displays that act as windows into the deep sea.

A view from a diver’s helmet in the Exploration and Exploitation of the Seas exhibitOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

View into the exhibitionOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

Humboldt penguins on the roof terrace of the OZEANEUMOzeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

One of the main attractions are the Humboldt Penguins on the roof terrace of the museum. Visitors can watch the feathered swimmers through large windows, even as they glide underwater.

Credits: Story

Ozeaneum, Stiftung Deutsches Meeresmuseum

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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