271-year-old ship to become underwater museum

A rendering of ZJA’s Docking the Amsterdam project. Courtesy of ZJA.

Dutch firm has plans to move 131-foot-long wreck from England to Amsterdam.

A 271-year-old shipwrecked Dutch East India cargo ship faces a monumental journey, reports ArtNet News. Embedded in the sands of England’s south coast lies a maritime archaeological gem, and now Dutch architecture firm, ZJA, plans to raise the vessel and transport it back to Amsterdam where it will become the centre-piece of a new underwater museum.

Using special diggers, the company intends to move the ship without it ever becoming exposed to the air. Once excavated it will be moved to a specially designed dry dock and then sailed to 250 miles to the Dutch capital. ZJA then propose to build a high-tech structure that will house the vessel and keep it submerged while archaeologists investigate its largely intact timbers and cargo.

The fascinating historical time-capsule will be housed in a striking steel and glass cocoon allowing visitors to walk around the 131-foot-long ship. ZJA say: “Visiting this venue is like entering a theatre that stages the investigation in progress and engages the public with the discoveries the divers and researchers do inside the wreck.” 

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