FLUGT Refugee Museum of Denmark
Nominated for European Design Awards 2023
Category Exhibition Design
FLUGT Refugee Museum of Denmark, designed by architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and exhibition designers Tinker Imagineers, was officially inaugurated at the end of June in the presence of Queen Margrethe II. Located at the site of Denmark’s largest refugee camp from World War II, the museum gives a voice and a face to refugees worldwide. It captures their universal challenges, emotions, drive, and stories.The exhibitions use personal stories to put a face to the history and abstract numbers, and to show the connection between the local history of Oksbøl and today’s refugee crisis. The search for refuge and the tensions that come with it are of all times, and it’s something that could happen to anyone.
Experience design agency Tinker imagineers came up with an innovative immersive design in which the stories of refugees of all times are told in a way you have never experienced before. The museum experience consists of several exhibition rooms and a large outdoor area. The personal stories of the refugees are brought to life with visual highlights, sound scapes, animations, interviews, and original film material. Visitors experience what refugees had to deal with then and still have nowadays. They put themselves in the shoes of the refugees and get to know them.
Outside, a huge and notable model of the former camp, made of concrete and Corten Steel, indicates its scale. Here, visitors can start an immersive audio walk through the forest. This offers visitors a realistic experience of what daily life in the camp was like. The cemetery and an old barrack can be visited as well.
Erik Bär, founder and director of Tinker imagineers, feels honoured to have been entrusted with such a prestigious project in Denmark: ‘Creating a museum on this topical subject made the assignment especially relevant and meaningful for us. This is the type of challenge we like. It was both exciting and challenging to combine personal histories of refugees and social impact in order to make FLUGT an uplifting visitor experience.’
Tinker has worked with Vardemuseerne and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group before, on the joined creation of Tirpitz Museum on the west coast of Denmark, close to FLUGT. ‘We were looking forward to doing so again because of our shared ambitions and quality requirements’, Erik Bär explains. In close collaboration with a team of engineers and Tinker, BIG adapted and extended one of the camp’s few remaining structures (the former hospital) into a 1.600 m2 museum.
Photography: Mike Bink, Tinker Imagineers