A new place for discovery, exploration, and play has taken form, right across from the Jewish Museum Berlin: The ANOHA children's world opened to young visitors of preschool and grade-school age on 27 June 2021.
The story of Noah's ark from the Torah takes center stage at the children's museum. According to tradition, the ark was an enormous boat that Noah used to save his family and all of the animal species from the flood. More than 150 animals are gathered in the heart of the ANOHA children's world – a gigantic round ark made of wood, designed by the American firm Olson Kundig Architecture and Design.
W. M. Blumenthal Academy
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
Using stories of the creation, flood, and new beginnings that appear in various religions, we want to encourage our youngest guests to think about the respectful coexistence of people, animals, and nature, and to embolden them to take action toward a diverse and better world.
In the Ark
Many animals live in the ark – large and small ones, popular animals and outsiders. We invite the children to accompany the animal passengers, take care of a zebra, cow, or one of their friends, and to contribute to their well-being.
Less popular animals such as the naked mole rat also have their place, standing for respect, openness, and tolerance of anything that may at first seem foreign. The extinct mammoth, as well as endangered animals such as polar bears draw attention to environmental problems, their consequences, and our possibilities for action.
All of the animals were created by selected artists using recycled materials. The sculptures can be explored in a number of ways – they can be used as monkey bars, hammocks, and snuggle caves. Some of the animals can produce noises, others contain treasures.
Offerings for Children and Families
The ANOHA children's world also contains several workshop rooms and studios – plenty of space for being creative, making music, putting on plays, and making something new together. In this way, the Jewish Museum Berlin expanded its existing program for children and youth, with workshops specially designed for children and families, preschool and grade-school groups, as well as education professionals.
You'll find more information on ANOHA's child-oriented website https://anoha.de.
The Children’s Museum and its programs follow the approach of “early excellence,” which emphasizes the importance of encouraging and educating children even before they start school. With the Children’s Museum, we aim to create an attractive environment for families with small children right in the middle of the city. Its location in our immediate neighborhood is especially important to us. We initiate collaborative partnerships and make connections with other institutions to create an open, family-friendly, and culturally diverse meeting place.
With support from
Children as Advisors
A dedicated Children’s Advisory Council has played an active role in shaping the new museum’s deveopment. The advisory council consists of children between the ages of eight and eleven.
In regular meetings, the children put forward their wishes for the museum and its educational programming. We discuss, develop, dream up, and discard new ideas. The workshops are designed and conducted using cultural education methods with the involvement of outside artists.
We were also thinking about sustainability in our construction of the Children’s Museum. The load-bearing walls and ceilings are made of regional, sustainable raw materials, primarily wood. We have also largely forgone a mechanical air ventilation system, opting for a concept of natural air circulation instead.
The Children’s Museum was created in collaboration with the Seattle-based agency Olson Kundig Architecture and Exhibit Design. Olson Kundig has a worldwide reputation for its innovative exhibition and educational concepts.
The Jewish Museum Berlin would like to thank all its supporters for their trust and their generosity.
With funding provided by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media on the basis of a resolution by the German Bundestag.
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Why the Jewish Museum Berlin has every reason to finally open a children’s museum
A little story about a revolutionary kind of museum
Building Noah's Ark
A Discussion about the New Children's Museum in the JMB Journal #17, page 18-22
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