on a stormy night in january 1749, a dutch east india company (VOC) ship called the ‘amsterdam’ ran aground off the coast of hastings in the english channel. now, a team led by amsterdam city archeologist jerzy gawronski, deloitte, mammoet, VEKA shipyards and architects ZJA, has devised a plan to turn the hull of the 18th century shipwreck into an underwater museum that will be moored in amsterdam.
the ‘amsterdam’ will be put on display in a huge basin that’s designed to serve as an underwater museum
images courtesy of ZJA
when the 40 meter long vessel became unsteerable and ran aground, all 330 sailors, carpenters, soldiers, officers and passengers were able to reach the english shoreline unharmed. however, the ship – and all its cargo – has since been swallowed up by seven meters of sand. the preserved cargo that remains today offers a unique archeological opportunity to discover more about 18th century amsterdam and its cultural heritage.
plans are to bring the ship to amsterdam and investigate it under water in a dock with transparent windows
underwater archeology near hastings is tricky to carry out as the shipwreck is submerged in the sand and mud of the beach. this project proposes a specially designed salvage dock that will lift the wreck, with water and all, and sail it to amsterdam. the wreckage will then be investigated under water, in a dock with transparent windows. the public can experience the ship, the investigation and the finds from close up, sometimes even hands on.
underwater archaeologists will dive to excavate the ship
once moored at a favorable location, a canopy will be added to the dock so it can be used as a research facility and venue for visitors. visiting this museum will be like entering a theater that engages the public with the discoveries that the divers and researchers find inside the wreck. events will be organized to show the finds and put them into context. the combination of technology and cultural heritage staged in this fashion intends to present a new history of amsterdam and the dutch colonial past. the project is being further developed in cooperation with the city of amsterdam and an active exchange with hastings intends to secure a lively connection to the original location.
visitors can witness the ongoing research and discoveries
once moored, a canopy will be added to allow the dock to be used as a research facility and a venue for visitors
presently, the hull of the wreck is buried under sand off the coast of hastings
project name: docking the amsterdam
location: amsterdam, the netherlands
principal: the foundation VOC schip amsterdam, led by amsterdam city archeologist jerzy gawronski
partners: deloitte, mammoet, VEKA shipyards and the architectural office ZJA
year: 2017 – present
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: lynne myers | designboom