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Museums
World class collections

Pop idols, science, nature and culture are all celebrated in a range of museums that have opened around the world this year

By Helen Patenall | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4

ABBA THE MUSEUM

Sweden

Abba The Museum – the first visitor attraction to be dedicated entirely to the Swedish pop band – opened at Djurgården in Stockholm in May.

Backed by Abba founder Björn Ulvaeus, the museum offers visitors an interactive journey through the band’s history and features hundreds of Abba artefacts.

The museum journey kicks off with a film showing Abba’s history by Swedish film and music video director Jonas Åkerlund in a 180-degree cinema, which leads on to Gamleby Folkets Park – symbolising the start of the members’ careers in the 1960s.

The exhibition moves on to Brighton in 1974, the song writing cottage on the island of Viggsö, Stig Anderson’s office, Owe Sandström’s tailor studio, arenas around the world, Björn and Agnetha’s kitchen and the legendary Polar studio.

During the museum journey, visitors can experience what it would be like to be the fifth member of Abba using interactive exhibitions. Guests can also see what they would look like dressed in one of Abba’s legendary stage costumes, singing at the famous Polar Studio and entering the stage with the band.

The four band members – Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Frida – lead visitors through the facility by telling their own personal Abba stories on an audioguide, which was developed in collaboration with Catherine Johnson, who wrote Mamma Mia! The exhibition curator is the band’s ex-stylist Ingmarie Halling.

www.abbathemuseum.com

 


©Abbathemuseum

The new museum is home to hundreds of Abba artefacts
Rijksmuseum

Holland

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum reopened in April after a 10-year refurbishment. Now 80 galleries and 8,000 objects tell the story of 800 years of Dutch history.

The much vaunted facelift was masterminded by Seville architect Cruz y Ortiz and the galleries were designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who worked on the Louvre.

The renovation is a combination of 19th century grandeur with modern design. The original architecture was fully reconstructed in a number of key spaces.

Spanning four floors, Rijksmuseum recounts Dutch history from the Middle Ages to the present day. Artists featured include Rembrandt and Frans Hals.

A spectacular entrance hall and an Asian pavilion are among the new additions and many new artefacts are now on show, including art, photos, jewellery, fashion and silver.

More than 75,000 tickets were booked online in advance of the official opening ceremony, conducted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in one of her last public appearances before her abdication.

www.rijksmuseum.nl

 



Visitors are greeted by a spectacular entrance hall and an Asian pavilion is also part of the new additions
 


Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum Great Hall
 
 


Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum
 
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

USA

The first stage of a US$135m (E103.7m, £88.4m) overhaul of the Natural History Museum (NHM), Los Angeles, was completed in June.

Renovation and restoration of the original 1913 Beaux Arts building located in Exposition Park near downtown LA has cost US$91m (E70m, £60m) to date.

NHM now features 3.5-acre Nature Gardens displaying outdoor exhibits; the Nature Lab where visitors can participate in science activities and learn more about the local southern California wildlife; and the Otis Booth Pavilion – a new glass entrance and public gathering place at the centre of the museum, which features a 63ft (19.2m) specimen of a whale.

New permanent exhibitions include the Age of Mammals and the Dinosaur Hall, as well as the 1,300sq m (14,000sq ft) Becoming Los Angeles, which tells the stories of cultural and ecological shifts in the development of the city and surrounding region.

In December, Travelling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World – the first exhibit in the renovated galleries for temporary exhibitions – will take visitors on a caravan journey filled with crafts, spices, ideas and cultures from around the world.

Los Angeles-based CO Architects collaborated with NHM and engineering firm Cordell to design the museum’s new gardens and remodel the galleries and Otis Booth Pavilion.

The NHM of Los Angeles was the city’s first dedicated museum and has amassed more than 35 million objects since opening in 1913.

www.nhm.org

 



The new glass entrance features a 63ft specimen of a whale
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Tasmania

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) reopened in Hobart in March following a AUS$30m (US$27.9m, E21.4m, £18.25m) redevelopment project.

The new facility encompasses more than twice TMAG’s previous display space, including a dedicated facility for travelling exhibitions that will enable TMAG to host international exhibitions of a standard never before seen in Tasmania. It also offers expanded public programmes, education programmes and new spaces to showcase more of TMAG’s state collection.

Architectural firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp focused on designing a contemporary structure sympathetic to the heritage and character of the site and waterfront setting.

The new visitor entrance highlights the historic Watergate as a central feature of the courtyard space, surrounded by heritage buildings on one side and a new building housing a cafe and programme-delivery facility on the other. TMAG’s treasured heritage buildings, including the Bond Store and Commissariat Store, are preserved beneath an enclosed courtyard. The outdoor civic space, previously hidden beneath the fringes of TMAG’s historic site, is also now showcased.

www.tmag.tas.gov.au

 



The modern structure is sympathetic to Tasmanian heritage
China Wood Sculpture Museum

China

Beijing-based Mad Architects were behind the completed China Wood Sculpture Museum located in Harbin, China. The 200m (656ft)-long building is sheathed in metal and surrounded by a densely populated Chinese-style neighbourhood and residential complexes.

It was constructed with the aim of adding cultural and surreal essence to the surrounding urban context. The museum takes the form of a twisted strip of steel, punctuated with curved windows.

Mad describes the building as “bringing out an expression and abstraction of nature to an otherwise quotidian surrounding”. The architects blurred the boundaries between solid and liquid throughout the 13,000sq m (140,000sq ft) building to reference the local natural scenery and landscape.

The museum mainly houses local wood sculptures as well as paintings depicting the ice and snow of the regional scenery. In the context of the large-scale modern urban setting, the China Wood Sculpture Museum aims to serve as a new interpretation of nature.

Designed in collaboration with The Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology and Gehry Technologies, the building is covered in polished steel plates, mirroring the surroundings. The breaking and twisting motion of the skylights splits the surface and allows in light from the low-hanging sun of northern China.

 



The museum is covered in reflective polished steel
Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations

France

After more than a decade of planning and preparation, the new Mediterranean civilisations museum (MuCEM) opened to the public in June.

The E191m (US$248m, £162m) project is the world’s first museum dedicated to Mediterranean civilisations and culture, and the first standalone French national museum outside of Paris.

Developed in partnership with the State, the city of Marseille, the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhone and the Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur, the facility is split over three buildings, covering an area of 40,000sq m (430,556sq ft).

The J4, which covers 15,000sq m (161,458sq ft), is built on the former J4 port pier and was designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti. The Fort-Saint-Jean, which also covers the same area, is located within the walls of a 12th century historic monument. The Centre for Conservations and Resources, which covers an area of 10,000sq m (107,639sq ft) is near the Saint-Charles railway station and was designed by architect Corinne Vezzoni.

The museum will also function as a cultural venue showcasing permanent and temporary exhibitions and events like films, concerts, shows and Mediterranean cooking workshops. The museum opened as part of Marseille’s 2013 stint as the European capital of culture.

www.mucem.org

 



The new MuCEM will also function as a cultural venue
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Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
Museums
World class collections

Pop idols, science, nature and culture are all celebrated in a range of museums that have opened around the world this year

By Helen Patenall | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4

ABBA THE MUSEUM

Sweden

Abba The Museum – the first visitor attraction to be dedicated entirely to the Swedish pop band – opened at Djurgården in Stockholm in May.

Backed by Abba founder Björn Ulvaeus, the museum offers visitors an interactive journey through the band’s history and features hundreds of Abba artefacts.

The museum journey kicks off with a film showing Abba’s history by Swedish film and music video director Jonas Åkerlund in a 180-degree cinema, which leads on to Gamleby Folkets Park – symbolising the start of the members’ careers in the 1960s.

The exhibition moves on to Brighton in 1974, the song writing cottage on the island of Viggsö, Stig Anderson’s office, Owe Sandström’s tailor studio, arenas around the world, Björn and Agnetha’s kitchen and the legendary Polar studio.

During the museum journey, visitors can experience what it would be like to be the fifth member of Abba using interactive exhibitions. Guests can also see what they would look like dressed in one of Abba’s legendary stage costumes, singing at the famous Polar Studio and entering the stage with the band.

The four band members – Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Frida – lead visitors through the facility by telling their own personal Abba stories on an audioguide, which was developed in collaboration with Catherine Johnson, who wrote Mamma Mia! The exhibition curator is the band’s ex-stylist Ingmarie Halling.

www.abbathemuseum.com

 


©Abbathemuseum

The new museum is home to hundreds of Abba artefacts
Rijksmuseum

Holland

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum reopened in April after a 10-year refurbishment. Now 80 galleries and 8,000 objects tell the story of 800 years of Dutch history.

The much vaunted facelift was masterminded by Seville architect Cruz y Ortiz and the galleries were designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who worked on the Louvre.

The renovation is a combination of 19th century grandeur with modern design. The original architecture was fully reconstructed in a number of key spaces.

Spanning four floors, Rijksmuseum recounts Dutch history from the Middle Ages to the present day. Artists featured include Rembrandt and Frans Hals.

A spectacular entrance hall and an Asian pavilion are among the new additions and many new artefacts are now on show, including art, photos, jewellery, fashion and silver.

More than 75,000 tickets were booked online in advance of the official opening ceremony, conducted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in one of her last public appearances before her abdication.

www.rijksmuseum.nl

 



Visitors are greeted by a spectacular entrance hall and an Asian pavilion is also part of the new additions
 


Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum Great Hall
 
 


Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum
 
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

USA

The first stage of a US$135m (E103.7m, £88.4m) overhaul of the Natural History Museum (NHM), Los Angeles, was completed in June.

Renovation and restoration of the original 1913 Beaux Arts building located in Exposition Park near downtown LA has cost US$91m (E70m, £60m) to date.

NHM now features 3.5-acre Nature Gardens displaying outdoor exhibits; the Nature Lab where visitors can participate in science activities and learn more about the local southern California wildlife; and the Otis Booth Pavilion – a new glass entrance and public gathering place at the centre of the museum, which features a 63ft (19.2m) specimen of a whale.

New permanent exhibitions include the Age of Mammals and the Dinosaur Hall, as well as the 1,300sq m (14,000sq ft) Becoming Los Angeles, which tells the stories of cultural and ecological shifts in the development of the city and surrounding region.

In December, Travelling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World – the first exhibit in the renovated galleries for temporary exhibitions – will take visitors on a caravan journey filled with crafts, spices, ideas and cultures from around the world.

Los Angeles-based CO Architects collaborated with NHM and engineering firm Cordell to design the museum’s new gardens and remodel the galleries and Otis Booth Pavilion.

The NHM of Los Angeles was the city’s first dedicated museum and has amassed more than 35 million objects since opening in 1913.

www.nhm.org

 



The new glass entrance features a 63ft specimen of a whale
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Tasmania

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) reopened in Hobart in March following a AUS$30m (US$27.9m, E21.4m, £18.25m) redevelopment project.

The new facility encompasses more than twice TMAG’s previous display space, including a dedicated facility for travelling exhibitions that will enable TMAG to host international exhibitions of a standard never before seen in Tasmania. It also offers expanded public programmes, education programmes and new spaces to showcase more of TMAG’s state collection.

Architectural firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp focused on designing a contemporary structure sympathetic to the heritage and character of the site and waterfront setting.

The new visitor entrance highlights the historic Watergate as a central feature of the courtyard space, surrounded by heritage buildings on one side and a new building housing a cafe and programme-delivery facility on the other. TMAG’s treasured heritage buildings, including the Bond Store and Commissariat Store, are preserved beneath an enclosed courtyard. The outdoor civic space, previously hidden beneath the fringes of TMAG’s historic site, is also now showcased.

www.tmag.tas.gov.au

 



The modern structure is sympathetic to Tasmanian heritage
China Wood Sculpture Museum

China

Beijing-based Mad Architects were behind the completed China Wood Sculpture Museum located in Harbin, China. The 200m (656ft)-long building is sheathed in metal and surrounded by a densely populated Chinese-style neighbourhood and residential complexes.

It was constructed with the aim of adding cultural and surreal essence to the surrounding urban context. The museum takes the form of a twisted strip of steel, punctuated with curved windows.

Mad describes the building as “bringing out an expression and abstraction of nature to an otherwise quotidian surrounding”. The architects blurred the boundaries between solid and liquid throughout the 13,000sq m (140,000sq ft) building to reference the local natural scenery and landscape.

The museum mainly houses local wood sculptures as well as paintings depicting the ice and snow of the regional scenery. In the context of the large-scale modern urban setting, the China Wood Sculpture Museum aims to serve as a new interpretation of nature.

Designed in collaboration with The Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology and Gehry Technologies, the building is covered in polished steel plates, mirroring the surroundings. The breaking and twisting motion of the skylights splits the surface and allows in light from the low-hanging sun of northern China.

 



The museum is covered in reflective polished steel
Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations

France

After more than a decade of planning and preparation, the new Mediterranean civilisations museum (MuCEM) opened to the public in June.

The E191m (US$248m, £162m) project is the world’s first museum dedicated to Mediterranean civilisations and culture, and the first standalone French national museum outside of Paris.

Developed in partnership with the State, the city of Marseille, the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhone and the Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur, the facility is split over three buildings, covering an area of 40,000sq m (430,556sq ft).

The J4, which covers 15,000sq m (161,458sq ft), is built on the former J4 port pier and was designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti. The Fort-Saint-Jean, which also covers the same area, is located within the walls of a 12th century historic monument. The Centre for Conservations and Resources, which covers an area of 10,000sq m (107,639sq ft) is near the Saint-Charles railway station and was designed by architect Corinne Vezzoni.

The museum will also function as a cultural venue showcasing permanent and temporary exhibitions and events like films, concerts, shows and Mediterranean cooking workshops. The museum opened as part of Marseille’s 2013 stint as the European capital of culture.

www.mucem.org

 



The new MuCEM will also function as a cultural venue
 


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