The design of the new “hidden” WWII museum off the coast of Denmark seems innocuous enough, if not a celebrated architectural feat by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). But some question whether the creation is insensitive, if not downright offensive.
An old German World War II bunker in Denmark was recently transformed into a subterranean museum built directly into the neighboring sand dunes. While the light-filled interior is largely invisible from the outside, one exterior trait has some cringing: aerial views of the bunker-turned-museum show an outline that eerily resembles a swastika.
Dezeen recently reported that its readers have lashed out over the design, calling it offensive and insensitive. “Anywhere else this wouldn’t look like a swastika but on a site like this? You have to be a little bit more careful,” commented Jack Treber. Another reader, HeywoodFloyd, defends the firm: “I mean, technically it’s not a swastika it’s a pinwheel, which is, of course, a commonly accepted architectural parti. Really, this may be some of BIG’s best work and it’s getting hijacked by the swastika reference,” reports Dezeen.
Symbols, like language, change overtime and while the swastika symbol did not historically represent fascism and the Nazi regime, it sure resonates as such today. Whether it’s a pinwheel or a swastika, why incorporate such a controversial symbol into a commemorative site? Especially when that symbol was systematically used during WWII (and thereafter) as a sign of repressive power, racism, and tragedy?
According to project architect Bjarke Ingels, the architecture of the museum is “the antithesis to the World War II bunker,” because it strategically incorporates a sense of openness and light inside, representing an “open oasis in the sand.” And while this is all true, the visible portion of the exterior is controversial, especially upon aerial observation. Broken swastika or pinwheel, re-appropriated symbol or not, one thing is clear: the design was definitely intentional.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.