Dutch architecture firm ZJA are setting a new standard for educational cultural experiences. Instead of displaying relics of a time gone by on well-lit platforms behind some velvet ropes, the company is planning to materialise an underwater museum – “Docking the Amsterdam” – around a submerged 271-year-old shipwreck.
Originally built by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) during the 18th century, the ship met its demise off the coast of Hastings, UK returning from its maiden voyage to India circa 1749. As luck would have it, the vessel was hit by a severe storm forcing the captain to beach it. While a great deal of the ship was damaged, reports indicate the hull and its contents remain largely intact.
The 40-metre-long remnants will be transported in a glass tank without ever having to be removed from water in order to prevent as much erosion as possible. Construction will obviously accommodate for this necessary detail, working around the aforementioned glass tank, although details regarding the rest of the underwater shipwreck museum and its interior design have yet to be confirmed.
“Visiting this venue is like entering a theatre that stages the investigation in progress,” reads the project description.
“And engages the public with the discoveries the divers and researchers do inside the wreck.”
ZJA has projected “Docking the Amsterdam” will open sometime in 2025.