Although the museum can be easily visited by train from Copenhagen, I decided to take a bicycle and get to Arken exploring the western outskirts of the Danish capital city. I actually found out it is possible to get there on cycling paths following the coastline of the Køge Bugt, the bay south of Copenhagen. Especially the last part was nice to cycle, right next to the dunes separating the sea from the inner lakes and towns. To top it all, as I approached Ishøj, the contours of my destination arose from the horizon like a ship from the sea. From a distance, Arken looks like a ship stranded on the seashore.
In fact, the architecture of the museum, by Søren Robert Lund, is based on a ship. Outside, you can easily discern the bow of a ship and the bridge, while inside the theme is continued. Even the stairs look like those of a ship. Of course, once inside you concentrate more on the art on display, which covers modern art, with lectures, concerts, and workshops for children. The museum consists of several Axes, of which the Art Axis is the largest gallery. It is a long hall, with natural light coming in from above, and its form is an optical illusion making you believe that it is much larger than it actually is.
You can get to the foyer through the Red Axis, which has more allusions to the ship theme of Arken museum. Actually, this Axis is built in a tilting way to give the passer through the suggestion of being at sea in a rough storm. This Axis is dark, in contrast to other parts of the museum which have natural light. Once back to the foyer, it is impossible not to notice a massive black block of Norwegian granite. It is a reference to the Ice Age, and also to the fact that this area used to be sea until it was turned into land in the 1970s.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Arken Museum (Denmark). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Arken Museum. Read more about this site.