Skip to Content
photo of ANOHA – The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin
Photo: Hufton & Crow

ANOHA – The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin

Berlin, Germany

ANOHA – The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin

Berlin, Germany

  • Design Principal

    Alan Maskin

Inspired by the pioneering vision of Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, which underscores the importance of diversity, collaboration and second chances, ANOHA—The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin seeks to give the museum’s youngest guests a sense of hope and possibility. Located within an existing former flower market hall, the heart of ANOHA is a circular wooden ark, standing almost 23 feet (7 meters) tall with a 92-foot (28-meter) base diameter. The curvilinear ark complements the curved ribs of the Brutalist light scoops overhead, while the shift in materiality from concrete to wood offers a softening counterpoint to the existing space.

More than 150 sculptural animals populate ANOHA’s ark, each created from found objects by a team of 18 German artists. This approach encourages children to consider the importance of recycling and adaptive re-use, while supporting ANOHA’s core philosophy of creativity and imagination. The tactile nature of these sculptural objects and the sense of playful discovery as children recognize the familiar materials used to make them further serve to highlight the importance of respecting, treasuring and conserving global resources. Interactive exhibits placed along an intuitive visitor pathway teach children how to solve problems independently and as a group, while explorative spaces modeled after unique habitats allow children to experience the diverse perspectives of the various animals.

Sustainable strategies are embedded in the architectural design as an integral part of the user experience. Extensive mechanical systems are eliminated thanks to the environmental buffer of the existing hall, significantly lowering energy loads. Ceiling fans and operable windows in the ark allow for air exchange and natural ventilation. The hall’s curved concrete roof forms draw daylight into the interior. The ark’s windows support this passive daylighting approach, while visually connecting ANOHA with the existing structure of the hall.

Our design approach was to create a modern retelling of the ancient story of Noah's Ark – an experience that provides a sense of hope and possibility to the people who will visit it. Alan Maskin

Team

Awards

2020

AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Design Awards, Honor Award

Interior Design Best of Year Award Winner, Kids’ Zone Category

Publications

2019

Badelt, Udo. “Lachen und lernen in der Arche Noah.” Der Tagesspiegel, 26 Sep. 2019. Web.

Badelt, Udo. “Von der Sintflut erzählen.” Der Tagesspiegel, 27 Sep. 2019, 24. Print.

Badelt, Udo. “Von der Sintflut erzählen.” Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, 27 Sep. 2019, 24. Print.

“Das Jüdische Museum eröffnet eine Kinder-Arche.” BZ/BZ am Sonntag, 27 Sep. 2019, 27. Print.

Di Blasi, Johanna. “Die Rückkehr der Arche Noah.” Berliner Morgenpost, 27 Sep. 2019, 1, 17. Print.

Di Blasi, Johanna. “Die Rückkehr der Arche Noah im Jüdischen Museum.” Berliner Morgenpost, 27 Sep. 2019. Web.

“Die Arche Noah steht schon.” Der Tageszeitung, 27 Sep. 2019, 21. Print.

“Entdecken, Erforschen, Spielen.” Jüdische Allgemeine, 17 Sep. 2019. Web.

Frey, Thomas. “Auf der Baustelle des neuen Kindermuseums des Jüdischen Museums.” Berliner Woche, 16 Oct. 2019. Web.

Lenz, Susanne. “Alle en Bord!” Berliner Zeitung, 27 Sep. 2019, 12. Print.

Lovell, Sophie. “Ark Rival.” Wallpaper*, October 2019, 257-258. Print.

Lovell, Sophie. “Olson Kundig’s children’s museum at Jewish Museum Berlin is inspired by Noah’s Ark.” Wallpaper*, 26 Sep. 2019. Web.

Schmedding, Nina. “Rund wie ein Bagel.” Jüdische Allgemeine, 27 Sep. 2019. Web.

2016

“Berlin plans Jewish museum for children inspired by Noah’s Ark.” ARTERY NYC, 11 Aug. 2016. Web.

“Competition for a Children’s Museum the Jewish Museum Berlin: Winner Announced.” Jewish Museum Berlin, 25 July 2016. Web.

“Competition for a Children’s Museum at the Jewish Museum Berlin: Winner Announced.” Noodls, 22 July 2016. Web.

Edelson, Zach. “Olson Kundig Owner/Principal Alan Maskin wins Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation competition.” The Architect’s Newspaper, 2 Aug. 2016. Web.

Hickley, Catherine. “Berlin plans Jewish museum for children inspired by Noah’s Ark.” The Art Newspaper, 11 Aug. 2016. Web. 

Johnson, Sara. “Jewish Museum Berlin Kindermuseum Olson Kundig.” Architect, 3 Aug. 2016. Web.

“Kindermuseum des Jüdischen Museums Wettbewerb in Berlin entschieden.” BauNetz, 22 July 2016. Web.

“OK’s Alan Maskin wins Berlin prize.” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, 10 Aug. 2016. Web.

“OLSON KUNDIG DESIGNS CHILDREN MUSEUM IN THE JEWISH MUSEUM BERLIN NARRATED WITH NOAH’S EPIC STORY.” World Architecture Community, 4 Aug. 2016. Web.

“Olson Kundig gana el concurso para el nuevo Museo infantil del Museo Judio de Berlín.” Metalocus, 4 Aug. 2016. Web.

Parker, Sydney. “Seattle’s Olson Kundig to design a Noah’s Ark-themed children’s museum.” BuzzBuzzNews, 9 Aug. 2016. Web.

Speros, Will. “Olson Kundig Wins Competition to Design Jewish Museum Berlin’s Kindermuseum.” Contract, 9 Aug. 2016. Web.

Testado, Justine. “First glimpse: Olson Kundig’s winning Noah’s Ark concept for the Jewish Museum Berlin.” Bustler, 3 Aug. 2016. Web.

Testado, Justine. “Olson Kundig, Junya Ishigami, and the AIA National Healthcare Design Awardees are among this week’s winners.” Archinect, 9 Aug. 2016. Web.

Testado, Justine. “Olson Kundig will design the Noah’s Ark-themed Children’s Museum for the Jewish Museum Berlin.” Archinect, 3 Aug. 2016. Web.

“US-Architekten bauen für Kinder im Jüdischen Museum Berlin.” 3sat, 26 July 2016. Web.

“US-Architekten bauen für Kinder im Jüdischen Museum Berlin.” Berlin.de, 22 July 2016. Web.

“US-Architekten bauen für Kinder im Jüdischen Museum Berlin.” T Online, 22 July 2016. Web.

“US-Architekten bauen Kinderabteilung im Jüdischen Museum.” B.Z. Berlin, 22 July 2016. Web.

Welch, Adrian. “Alan Maskin Wins Jewish Museum Berlin Competition.” e-architect, 4 Aug. 2016. Web.

“Wettbewerb für ein Kindermuseum des Jüdischen Museums Berlin entschieden.” Art in Berlin, 26 July 2016. Web.

“Wettbewerb für ein Kindermuseum des Jüdischen Museums Berlin entschieden.” KulturPort.De, 22 July 2016. Web.

Publications

2017

“Costruire cultura ripartendo dai bambini.” Pagine Ebraiche, 9 Sept. 2017, 16. Print.

Goldmann, Ayala. “Mehr Gegenwart wagen.” Judische Allgemeine, 09 Mar. 2017, 3-6. Print.

Muller, Max. “Facelifting in Kreuzberg.” Berliner Morgenpost, 7 Mar. 2017, 7. Print.

Muller, Max. “Grundschuler sind meine Experten.” Tip Berlin, 23 Mar. 2017, 67. Print.

“Museo de los Ninos en el Museo Judio – Berlin.” Future Arquitecturas, May 2017, 49-51. Print.