maritime museum in Netherlands

Friday 30 March 2012, KAAP SKIL, maritime and beachcombers museum, on the Dutch Wadden Island of Texel will open its doors. In addition to two new exhibitions, the museum building designed by the Dutch office Mecanoo architect, will house a café and offices. The audience of KAAP SKIL is taken 400 years back in time, when the fleet of the Dutch East India Company would set its anchor at the ‘Reede van Texel’ (the offshore anchorage of Texel) before sailing off to the ‘Orient’. The showpiece of the museum is an eighteen-metre long, four-metre deep model of the Reede van Texel, displaying in great detail the impressive spectacle of the dozens of ships anchored off the coast of the Wadden Island.

The museum in Oudeschild stands out with its four playfully linked gabled roofs which are a play on the rhythm of the surrounding roof tops. The wooden façade of Kaap Skil is a good example of the time-hallowed tradition of recycling. For hundreds of years the people of Texel have made grateful use of driftwood from stranded ships or wrecks to build their houses and barns. The vertical wooden boards of KAAP SKIL’s facade are made of sawn hardwood sheet-piling from the North Holland Canal and have been given a new life just like the objects in the museum collection. From within, the glass facade in front of the wooden boards allows an inviting view of the outdoor museum terrain and of the famous North Holland skies to visitors of the museum café. Inside the building the boards cast a linear pattern of daylight and shadow creating an atmosphere infused with light and shelter.

In the basement, visitors are drawn around the Reede van Texel by projections and animations, creating an intimate space that harbours a sense of mystery. On the first floor the North Holland sky floods the objects on display with light. The movable showcases of robust steel frames and glass create a transparent effect so that the objects in the collection seem to float within the space. The interior of the museum and the two exhibitions are designed by Kossmann.dejong  from Amsterdam.

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