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Photo: kubix Berlin

ANOHA—The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin Opens to the Public


Olson Kundig is pleased to share that ANOHA—The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin officially opened to the public on Sunday, June 27, 2021. Led by principal and owner Alan Maskin, ANOHA seeks to give the museum’s youngest guests a sense of hope and possibility through a world of imagination and play. Inspired by the pioneering vision of Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, which underscores the importance of diversity, community, and second chances, ANOHA uses historic flood narratives as an allegory for engaging with important contemporary issues like climate change and resource conservation.

Constructed as a modern structure within an historic one, ANOHA—the Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin is located within an existing former flower market hall directly opposite the existing Jewish Museum Berlin. At the heart of ANOHA is a circular wooden ark, standing almost 23 feet tall with a 92-foot base diameter, populated by more than 150 sculptural animals made from found and recycled objects by a team of 18 German artists. The re-use and transformation of this existing building lowers the amount of embodied energy that would have resulted from demolition and new construction, and allows ANOHA to incorporate passive daylighting, ventilation and conditioning strategies, integrating sustainable design as a core element of the user experience.

“From the earliest days of the design competition, we had ambitious ideas about what we hoped this project would achieve, both in terms of the design and the visitor experience,” said Design Principal Alan Maskin. “It’s often hard for those kinds of early ideas to manifest in the finished, built project, but I’m amazed and delighted by how much we were able to accomplish with the support and enthusiasm of the Jewish Museum Berlin, the pioneering vision of the Skirball Cultural Center that inspired this project, and the international group of partners and collaborators who helped bring it to life.”

ANOHA—the Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin will be open Tuesday through Friday for daycare and school groups, and for children and families on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. More information, including advance ticketing and ongoing safety procedures, is available online at

From the early days of the design competition, we were inspired by the Jewish Museum Berlin’s brief that the expansion would be inclusive of children and families from all beliefs and backgrounds. ANOHA merges historic and modern architecture to express a vision for the future deliberately informed by sustainability and equity. Alan Maskin, Design Principal
ANOHA—the Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Design Principal: Alan Maskin
Project Manager: Stephen Yamada-Heidner, AIA, LEED® AP
Project Architect: Martina Bendel
Architectural Staff: Jerome Tryon and Ryan Botts
Design Competition Team: Alan Maskin, Jerome Tryon, Juan Ferreira, Stephen Yamada-Heidner, Katie Miller, Laura Bartunek and Martina Bendel
Local Site Manager: Labs von Helmolt
Local Architect: Architekturbüro Engelbrecht
Local Exhibit Designer: IGLHAUT + von GROTE
Owner’s Representative: IBPM GmbH – Projektsteuerung
Structural Engineer: EiSat GmbH
Mechanical and Plumbing Engineer: Rentschler und Riedesser GmbH
Electrical Engineer: Ingenieurbüro für Elektrotechnik (IfE) Grothe GmbH
Lighting Design: Blieske Architects Lighting Designers
Natural Ventilation Concept / Climate Engineer: Transsolar KlimaEngineering
Animal Construction: Kubix GmbH
Artists: Arie van Riet (artistic x-ray images of various animals in the security area); Dieter Braun (large illustrations throughout the museum); Andrea Übelacker (“world puzzle” art project, produced in collaboration with elementary school children grades 1-3); Gunilla Jähnichen and Tine Steen (collaborative Noah’s Ark film project in the foyer); Wolfram Spyra (sound artist for installations in the foyer and Rain Room, sound artist and developer of the sound islands in the Flood Room); Martin Böttger (water animation in the Flood Room); Anne Metzen, Agnes Kelm, Andreas Edelblut, Annika Statkowski, Armin Benz, Beate Kelm, Conny Helm, Falk Starke, Franz Rodvalt, Gisbert Barmann, Gunnar Zimmer, Heiko Helm, Jan Schroeder, Jens Prockat, Jochen Müller, Jörg Hilbert, Maria Bahra, Matthias Garff, Myriel Kohrs, Nina Schrader and Thomas Raditschnig (animals)