Courtesy of Galmstrup

Courtesy of Galmstrup

Denmark’s natural landscape along the shoreline of Mossø lake was once home to a vibrant monastic community. All that remains are ruins and unearthed artifacts – the reminisce of an active, self-sustaining monastic compound.

Galmstrup, a London-based architecture firm that specializes in community and cultural projects, has designed a gallery building to house the excavated archaeological objects and remains on site – maintaining the strong connection between the ruins and the growing collection of artifacts.


Courtesy of Galmstrup

Courtesy of Galmstrup

Each object found on the site has the potential to unlock new information about the life of the medieval monk at Øm. The circulation of the museum’s interior was designed with the intention of telling the story of monastic daily life and enhancing the connection between spirituality and the surrounding natural landscape.


Courtesy of Galmstrup

Courtesy of Galmstrup



The geometries of the new museum structure were inspired by elements of medieval church design, more specifically, the 12th-century invention of the pointed Gothic arch and vaulted interiors. Galmthrup’s design uses a curved semi-arch, fin-like motif to enhance the site’s generous sightlines and allow visitors to view the surrounding ruins from any angle with little, to-no obstruction.


Courtesy of Galmstrup

Courtesy of Galmstrup

The main floor of the new gallery building is elevated above ground level in an effort to enhance the views and preserve the natural landscape. The surrounding excavation has unearthed what is believed to be a complex of churches, abbeys, graveyards, and a monastery hospital, but archaeologists have also noted that medieval monasteries depended equally on interior and exterior spaces, as the generous monastic gardens played a key role in the survival and success of the monastery. With this in mind, Galmthrup’s design also includes a winter garden structure that will house the site’s ongoing botanical research of excavated plant relics.

News via Galmthrup

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