Take a look at the museum's new surroundings.

Video showing The Art Island. Photographer: Thomas Mikkel Jensen, Municipality of Ishøj.

The Art Island is the realisation of a dream that dates back to the museum’s foundation of creating better harmony between the museum’s characteristic maritime architecture and the surrounding landscape.

The initial idea was for ARKEN to be located on the beach, like a shipwreck. But this idea had to be abandoned for conservation reasons, and the museum was then moved inland.

Thanks to a generous donation from the A.P.Møller and Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation for General Purposes, the dream of surrounding ARKEN with water became a reality in 2016.

Transition from nature to culture

Architect and planning company Møller and Grønborg, which is managing the project together with Schul Landskabsarkitekter, is working with transitions – from nature to culture, from the wild to the sophisticated, from the physical to the spiritual.

Three road bridges, two pedestrian bridges, lagoons, woodland, dunes and diverse planting are the main elements of the changing and informal scenery surrounding ARKEN. The dense thicket towards the sea has been removed, and the dunes have been pulled up to the lagoon creating a wonderful and permanent view of the beach from ARKEN’s café. It will also be possible to kayak around the museum and thus see ARKEN’s maritime architecture from the Water.

Museum director Christian Gether tells about the visions behind The Art Island.

Elmgreen & Dragset, Powerless Structures, Fig. 101. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Henrik Jauert

ARKEN’s new landmark

The parking area is placed outside the island, while the museum’s front area is on the island itself. A welcome bridge leads visitors to the museum, and the bridge is built diagonally on ARKEN’s main axis so that the entrance shows the dynamic and dramatic transition from nature to culture.

In the area in front of ARKEN, Elmgreen & Dragset’s tremendous equestrian statue of a cheering boy on his horse greets our guests as the museum’s new landmark.

Read more here.

Sculpture park in the pipeline

Long-term the plan is to set up a sculpture park around ARKEN. This will consist of sculptures that involve visitors in various ways – sculptures you can enter, climb or go through, sculptures that you can move, turn or continue working on.

The sculpture park will be an extension of the museum’s idea of involving and engaging visitors – and to continue playing with the visitors’ own creativity.


Map showing The Island of Art from above. Illustration: Møller & Grønborg


ARKEN located on The Art Island.