JDS Architects designs fictional museum
for Danish television drama

| 3 comments
 

News: architect Julien de Smedt has designed a museum to feature at the centre of a plot line in popular Danish television series The Legacy.

A model of the museum building appears in the third episode of The Legacy - called Arvingerne in Danish - which aired last Sunday.

"The museum covers a big part of the overall plot," JDS Architects founder Julien de Smedt told Dezeen. "You will see it a lot in the next few episodes."

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Still from The Legacy showing model of the museum designed by JDS Architects

The Legacy is a serial drama produced by Danish broadcaster DR that focuses on the life of a famous artist's family who come together following her death to divide up their inheritance. One of the artist's daughters, Gro, is a museum director who plans to build a new museum at the family's estate on the Danish island of Funen.

The plot line centres on whether Gro's plans for the museum will go ahead and in the third episode she is seen showing a model of the building based on De Smedt's design to a representative from Paris cultural institution the Pompidou Centre.

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Still from The Legacy showing model of the museum designed by JDS Architects

"To convince the audience that it is possible to build such a grand museum in Funen we thought that it should be modern and visionary, like an art piece," Mia Stensgaard, the show's production designer, told Dezeen. "If it was designed by a hotshot international architect then it could become the sort of museum that people would travel to see, so then I thought of Julien de Smedt."

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Still from The Legacy showing model of the museum designed by JDS Architects

Asked whether this was a particularly unusual commission for his studio to receive, De Smedt replied: "Obviously it doesn't happen every day, but it makes a lot of sense. [The] same goes for set designs: it makes sense for architects to be involved with set design. I remember that the late [American architect and artist] Lebbeus Woods was involved on the set designs of [Terry Gilliam's 1995 film] Twelve Monkeys, though not sufficiently credited."

Explaining how the creative process differed from designing a real building, the architect said: "It's different in the sense that we don't have the same constraints and obviously the project will only live on the small screen so it needs to stand out even more."

"You could say that the project would have been probably half the scale if it had been real, but for the sake of being able to present it as it is on the set we needed to give it a certain volume," he added.

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Still from The Legacy showing model of the museum designed by JDS Architects

Julien de Smedt receives a brief namecheck in the dialogue, when Gro mentions who designed the model she is presenting. The architect said that he was initially offered a cameo in the show but that his schedule wouldn't allow it.

The show has been hugely popular in Denmark, with each of the first two episodes watched by audiences of almost two million. It will be aired in the UK this year and has already been sold to broadcasters in Australia and the Benelux countries.

JDS Architects is a multidisciplinary practice with offices in Copenhagen, Brussels and Shanghai. Its portfolio includes the snake-like Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway, and an undulating multipurpose pier in Copenhagen.

Stills from The Legacy provided by DR.

  • kdub

    Looks like Seattle Public Library by OMA.

  • Donny

    This is great news! Hopefully more ‘Super Architects’ will decide to design fictional buildings in the future so the rest of us don’t have to suffer the reality.

  • jp

    Actually it appears to be JDS’ Beirut House of Arts and Culture project that has been recycled. http://jdsa.eu/bhac/