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Stevns Klint

The Day the Dinosaurs Died

Programme
2018
Scale

Mission

Interpreting a unique phenomenon

In east Denmark, along the coast of the island of Zealand, a black line stretches along a striking white chalk cliff. To the untrained eye, it is just a simple line, part and parcel of the rocky cliff face – nothing more, nothing less. But in actuality, this black line is the visual and physical evidence of a cataclysmic event that changed our planet forever – it is evidence of the ending of the age of dinosaurs, making way for the rise of humans.

This is Stevns Klint, 17km of coastline, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best exposed Cretaceous-Tertiary boundaries in the world. We envisioned a new visitor centre for Stevns Klint that would interpret the landscape for everyone to enjoy, not just the experts. Our aim was to create a centre that made sense of the history of the site and armed people with the knowledge needed to read the landscape, both before and after dinosaurs, for themselves.


Design

Taking inspiration from the landscape

Our design concept took inspiration from the black geological line in the cliffs – the very thing that makes them so significant. The black line becomes abstracted, manifesting physically as a structure for displays, interpretation and stories. The galleries were spatially divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’ the dinosaurs. This physical separation helps visitors make sense of the often complex concept of geological time. The black line motif runs between the galleries, creating a chapter break and delineating ‘before’ from ‘after’. By stepping, jumping or running over the line, you cross from one world into the next, from dinosaurs to humans.


Experience

Become an expert

Sound, lighting and media blend together to animate the fossils in different ways. Sensory interpretation, playful interactives and moments of discovery form the backbone of the experience and are geared toward intergenerational audiences.

Installations are woven into the landscape outside to create a trail of adventure, exploration and discovery. Here, people are given the tools to read the landscape for themselves – to see the clues in the rocks and become experts in their own right.