Facing the Jewish Museum in Berlin's Kreuzberg district is a huge hall that used to be a wholesale flower market and which is now part of the museum. The front part of the hall, a concrete building from 1963, houses the W.M. Blumenthal Academy. In the rear part is a modern interpretation of Noah's Ark, or ANOHA for short, as „house-in-house": a seven-meter-high round construction made of spruce wood with a diameter of 28 meters is the center of the Jewish Museum's new children's world and forms a soft counterpoint to the reinforced concrete of the hall in skeleton construction.
In the realization of the interactive museum as a permanent attraction, attention was paid to sustainability. The former market hall was left largely untouched, which is good for a low ecological footprint. For the new timber building, native spruce wood is the dominant material of the supporting structure, walls and ceilings. Where the floor is not made of wood, it has a robust rubber covering.
The large volume of this hall serves directly as a fresh air battery and also as a thermal buffer, in winter and summer. Low-noise ceiling fans distribute the air inside the ark; openings in the ark provide air exchange from the fresh air battery, which in essence leads to a naturally ventilated museum space.
Overall, this eliminated the need for mechanical ventilation in the museum, keeping energy demand very low.
The curved concrete roof forms of the hall allow sufficient daylight to enter the interior. The windows of the ark support this passive daylighting approach. The hall remains unheated. The ark is to be warmed by underfloor heating, which in extreme cases in summer can also be used for cooling purposes.
In the spring of 2022, Transsolar conducted smoke tests in the building.
These allow the conclusion that the fans provide increased mixing of the incoming air with the heated indoor air, thus making the incoming air warmer, minimizing the risk of draft and improving thermal comfort.
2021 AIA Seattle Honor Awards for Washington Architecture, Award of Merit
2020 AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Design Awards, Honor Award
2020 Interior Design Best of Year Award Winner, Kids’ Zone Category