Anoha by Olson Kundig: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Kids' Zone

Photography by Nick Hufton/Hufton + Crow.

Members of a museum’s advisory council are usually not between the ages of 6 and 12. But such was and is the case for Anoha, Olson Kundig's addition to The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin, which tells the narrative of Noah’s Ark through the Torah (the museum’s name is abstracted from the patriarch’s name). Housed in a 1960’s concrete hall, the 32,300-square-foot exhibition is a freestanding, 23-foot-high, 92-foot-diameter vessel resembling a giant bagel. Made from native spruce and supported by 40 arched laminated trusses, its inviting shape was inspired by ancient and modern sources—from a Sumerian tablet to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Where the new and original structures interact particularly beautifully is in the center, an inner courtyard that operates as an events space. Inside are ramps, slides, cubbies, and tunnels—everything to promote immersive play. Flooring is spongy vinyl. Then there is the 150-strong menagerie of animals. A team of 18, mostly local artists designed them, and all, from a 10-foot mammoth to a 3-inch cockroach, are handmade from repurposed materials.

Photography by Nick Hufton/Hufton + Crow.
Photography by Nick Hufton/Hufton + Crow.
Photography by Nick Hufton/Hufton + Crow.

Project Team: Alan Maskin; Stephen Yamada-Heidner; Martina Bendel; Jerome Tryon; Ryan Botts; Juan Ferreira; Katie Miller.

> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020

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