In partnership with Hypsos and Tinker Imagineers, MET was commissioned to design and build a new type of experience in the existing Maritime Museum in the heart of Amsterdam. The storyline followed the history of the Dutch at sea over six centuries.
We were keen for the experience to have a strong emotional connection with the visitor, rather than rely on “Disney-style” scene recreation techniques. Each area of the experience was designed around a personal story from Dutch Maritime history covering themes of heroism and struggle. The viewer is placed within the scene with the story unfolding around them communicated by various audio visual and mechanical techniques to create immersion and disorientation. The personal story was always the focus and produces links with objects within the museum's collection. The overriding message of the experience was that every object has a story behind it.
Visitors moved through four experiential rooms from different historical periods, separated by transitional, installation spaces designed around sensory experiences directly linked to the story. These include the claustrophobia of being below deck, and the uplifting feeling of coming ashore after months at sea. The experience concludes with the visitor being welcomed home by all the featured characters and objects throughout the experience.
This formed a bridge or link to the Maritime Museum galleries and intended to change the way people viewed the object collection by conveying the message that each object has a history of struggle and heroism.