The proposal ’The Lost Shield’ has won first prize in the competition for a new experience and knowledge centre at the Danish Viking site “Trelleborg”. It will be a new landmark for Slagelse municipality and a cultural destination that brings to life the dramatic and combative history of the Viking Age through site-centred narrative storytelling.
The visitor centre’s design was inspired by Denmark’s only preserved Viking shield, which was discovered at Trelleborg. “Imagine – a Viking living in Trelleborg, has at one time carried the shield and fought in battle here. We have designed and placed the building as a ‘lost shield’ casually left on the edge of the forest”, says Søren Mølbak, partner at PLH.
The visitor centre lies sensitively placed in the landscape and, like a giant shield, skews upwards to offer fantastic views of its surroundings. While maintaining a respectful distance to Trelleborg, the building provides an excellent overview of the earthworks and landscape.
Our aim has been to connect the past and present in a single gesture – linking communication, narrative and form in a very contemporary aesthetic. We’ve worked hard to bring the site to centre-stage; we’ve focused on the compelling nature of the place, with its story central to the architecture. The exhibition itself is structured as a narrative story following a Viking family.
“We have recreated the Viking atmosphere with a gripping audio-visual universe of exhibition spaces, the crackling of the fireplace in the café, the tarred timber exterior cladding and the Viking sails decorating the facades”, explains Søren. From the moment the visitor approaches the building, it is to be sensuous experience where the boundary between exhibition and architecture, past and present becomes unclear. Source by PLH Arkitekter. http://www.plh.dk/
Location: Slagelse, Denmark
Architects: PLH Arkitekter
Partners: ALL Atelier Lorentzen Langkilde, GHB Landscape Architects, MOE Consulting Engineers, GODdesign by exhibition architect Gert Olsen, film director Rumle Hammerich and art director Søren Buus
Area: 2000 m2 (includes a café, lobby, multifunctional lecture space, offices, meeting rooms, spaces for volunteers, a workshop and exhibition area)
Images: Courtesy of PLH Arkitekter