master content plan

Connecting the outdoor museum, the city and the region

The process of taking a master plan model towards a master content plan is not without risk. It proceeds a traditional approach towards a wider area plan and how to plan it with conventional methods and tools.

The Master Content Plan introduces a 3-dimensional element to the traditional Master Plan. NUDA have tested Håkon Iversen`s theories and model for such a Master Content Plan in EEA funded project in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where NUDA was invited in as partner in 2014 to transform the open-air museum Parcul Etnographic Museum (above picture) into a destination of attraction. The project started in January 2015 and ended in August 2017.

As the project evolved during the two first periods and visits to Cluj-Napoca, it became more and more clear that a Master Plan for the Parcul Etnografic Museum was necessary to develop. NUDAs analysis done in period two of the project outlined some critical issues which was clear indications of a lack of a plan.

As the museum is situated on the outskirts of the city and not a natural place to access, the challenge for the open-air museum is about sustaining its own survival, economy and maintain attraction for people to visit. As the layout of the museum seems by first glance to be a random placement of buildings in the rolling landscape, a coherent connection between the buildings is unclear. This becomes very clear when the stories around each small “settlement” is told. Though a rather clear infrastructure of main movement veins is present, there is not a clear path system connecting the buildings together, which should have been a priority for the museum to establish.

Preparing the master plan was described in the technical report for period 2 where NUDA introduced the 1+1+1+1 Method (MPTA) has been the core starting point for evolving the idea of a master plan into a master content plan.

There is a big difference between the latter. A master plan is equally important as a master content plan, however, for such a concept as the open-air museum, it has become clear that a 2D master plan only visualizing the site opportunities would not suffice for further development. As NUDA focus on much more than only the physicality of the site, its structures and landscape – content is clearly the mission to reach. By content a wider range of essentials are brought to the table which gives the 2D master plan a 3D feel of experience.

Tourism, attraction, storytelling, people are keywords in the content plan, and provides a proposition for how to give the museum an increased value. It is about making the open-air museum attractive first of all for the local citizens, then for the regional, national and international market. In many ways a Master Content Plan combines the traditional Master Plan with a Content Program that creates a predictable outline for future programming. It is also about bringing opportunities to the table as visual indicators of what the museum needs to embrace of concepts to reach its potential.

The Master Content Plan Guideline can be downloaded here. It outlines the whole process and idea behind the Master Content Plan and why and how it lifted the original project task to new important regional and national level.

Download the Master Content Plan here I Transilvania Reporter article in Romanian