Seaplane Harbour

Seaplane Harbour is home for one of the biggest and popular maritime museums in Europe and most visited attractions in the Baltic countries. It’s a place where both families with children and real maritime enthusiasts find themselves immersed for hours.

Client:

Estonian Maritime Museum

Location:

Tallinn, Estonia

Exhibition area:

6,500 m²

Year:

2012

Scope of work:

Exhibition and interactive exhibits design and development. Multimedia design and production. Replicas production, graphic design and project management.

Photography:

Tõnu Tunnel, Kaido Haagen

meremuuseum.ee

About

When looking for the logical place for Seaplane Harbour we of course imagined it by the sea. Our imagination became real after finding an early 20th century hangar, previously used for keeping seaplanes.

The building was in pretty bad shape, but it had great potential and so in 2010 renovations started and soon enough the hangar got its new name - Seaplane Harbour. The arrival of this new ambitious museum was a wake-up call to the Noblessner and Kalaranna regions. In the 10 years that has followed, the area has grown in importance thanks to bringing together museums, restorans, and both living- and working spaces.

Concept

It was clear with Seaplane Harbour that it was to be something more than a traditional museum with a strict “No touching!” rule.

Instead we had a plan for an interactive space for the whole family, where all of the senses will be put to use. Interactive multimedia solutions take you on a trip around the world on board of the “Yellow Submarine”, projections create a world that makes learning history fun, and you can also try on uniforms from different eras, which can also be taken home as memories thanks to our photo wall.

We decided to replace traditional information displays with multimedia programmes. This will keep the museum visually clean and minimal, while still enabling everyone to take a deep dive into specific exhibits.

Atmosphere

The unique architecture and 6500m² of space gave us a lot of room to play for creating a truly unique museum. At the same time these dimensions were a real challenge. How to turn this century old hangar into a modern museum that combines innovation and timeless exhibits?

Thanks to the sheer size of the hangar we got to bring large exhibits indoors. Every arrivee will be greeted by the historic submarine Lembit, that is definitely at the center of attention and will get a reaction out of everyone. The solution for the internal structure of the museum comes from the real world.

The interior of Seaplane Harbour is divided into 3 levels, putting our exhibits on different heights - under the sea, on the sea, and in the air. Thanks to an elevated pathway, all visitors can closely inspect seaplanes and also see the submarine from the top. This creates a multidimensional atmosphere and puts the large space into good use.

Development of hands-on exhibits

Some of the more innovative exhibits also include the “Yellow Submarine” that takes all visitors inside a 1930’s submarine that is going on a trip around the world. Luckily it’s not taking 80 days, and after 15 minutes you are back in the museum.

Video, sound, light and movement with hydraulics create a true adventure and an exhibit that is a crowd favorite while having no need to be operated by an employee.

Another one to point out is the flight simulator that allows you to fly over Tallinn. Everyone can turn into a pilot and fly the plane. What takes place on the screen is synced to your pilot seat, so you truly get taken over to another world.

Summary

Seaplane Harbour, with its great ambitions, spacious hangar and innovative displays were a true challenge for us. Thanks to the great partnership with Seaplane Harbour, we got to turn our craziest ideas into reality while turning Seaplane Harbour into one of the more noticeable maritime museums in all of Northern Europe. Thanks to that we are proud to still be close partners with Seaplane Harbour today, working on many exhibitions in the close future.

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