Modern centre of knowledge about the sea, ships, ports and shipyards
The Maritime Culture Centre is a unique combination of modern, interactive museum with unconventional architecture, which, with its innovative form, harmoniously fits into the historical panorama of the Motława embankment. The functionality of the facility with its innovative aesthetics has been recognized several times by the jury of prestigious awards:
- Sybilla, in the category “Management and organization, including museum investments”, 2012
- “Przyjazny Brzeg” of the Wind and Water Fair, 2013
- nomination for the European Museum of the Year Award, 2014
- 3rd place in the ranking of the Association of Polish Architects Wybrzeże Branch, 2014
- the Mayor of the City of Gdańsk Award for the Best Architectural Development in Gdańsk 2011-2015, 2016
Behind the impressive façade, combining the characteristic red brick with large glazing, there is an interactive centre of knowledge about the sea, ships, ports and shipyards, established for children, teenagers and adults. By using multimedia, interactive mock-ups and stands based on port facilities, the museum, in an unconventional way, promotes and develops in the recipients’ awareness the value and importance of maritime cultural heritage.
The undisputed attraction of the Maritime Culture Centre is the interactive exhibition “People – Ships – Ports”, loved by children and families. Here with the help of over 60 devices and educational stations you can learn, among others, how to control and command a ship, handle the goods, travel underwater by a bathyscaphe or how the tsunami waves are formed. The simulators placed at the exhibition allow to make virtual journeys at sea and in its depths and to navigate with the use of compass and stars. Whereas the lifeboat and evacuation slide familiarize young people with the issue of threats on the water. However, what attracts the most attention in the exhibition is a huge pool with a wind generator, with remote-controlled models of ships sailing on the surface. Thanks to that, our visitors, having great fun, learn the rules of sailing, the impact of wind on the vessel, and even have mini regattas.
The glazed lobby of the Centre, very impressive with majestic boats suspended high above the heads of our guests, constitute an introduction to the exhibition entitled “Boats of the peoples of the world”. It is a unique area dedicated to marine ethnology, with more than 40 traditional vessels from different parts of the world, from the Venetian gondola to the Far Eastern sampan. The richness and diversity of collections were developed over the years thanks to the captains and crews of the Polish ships taking deep-sea voyages. The boats they handed over include vessels from Norway, Ireland, Kenya, Tanzania, Panama, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ghana, Vietnam and Samoa. The vessels presented at the exhibition are accompanied by treasures related to the customs and beliefs of their original owners whereas the collection of nearly 1000 photos and films allows you to move in time and space to the most exotic places around the world.
However, the Maritime Culture Centre means much more. In the Centre there are additional educational rooms, prepared for organized school groups. Their equipment makes it possible to conduct spectacular chemical experiments with students, show them the laws of physics, and develop creative expression using a variety of artistic techniques. The most advanced historic treasure conservation workshop in Poland is a special area, which can usually be viewed only through the glazed floor of an interactive exhibition. Its cutting-edge equipment, used daily by a team of heritage conservators, also constitute the educational facility for the students of universities that have started cooperation with the National Maritime Museum.
Apart from the educational function, the Maritime Culture Centre is also open to the needs of business entities and seminar organizers, providing a fully equipped conference space with a flexible layout, that can accommodate up to 100 people. The building also provides a stylish catering area, designed for individual guests and for banquets and receptions, with a unique view from above of the Motława River, the Crane and the historic port of Gdansk.