Greenland National Museum is located in the restored warehouses of the old colonial harbour. Each building has a building number (B). Many of the buildings are old, and therefore worthy of preservation, and several of them are listed buildings. Together with the beautiful view of the fjord, the buildings form a historical and aesthetic setting for the National Museum.
The museum’s own workshop is at 17 Hans Egedesvej in building B-36, a listed building from 1851. It was originally a cooper’s workshop and storage facility, and later housed a bakery then a painter’s workshop. Around 1758 the city’s first, detached church was built on the site. In 1772 this church was replaced by a new one, so it is possible that there are stones from both churches in building B-36.
Building B-43 is at 21 Hans Egedesvej. The building is listed and used as the museum’s guest residence. It was built in 1841, and originally housed the store Godthåb Butik – the only shop in town until 1947. After this the large building housed a hardware store, and later a publisher.
Building B-66 is a relatively large building at 12 Hans Egedesvej. The building is listed as worthy of preservation and now houses the museum’s exhibition New People – Thule Culture, as well as the museum stores and its library. ‘The Concrete Warehouse’ as it is also known was built in 1935-1936, and was the first reinforced concrete building in Greenland. It was extended 12 m towards the road in 1949, as a result of which it can appear somewhat ‘cramped’ in the harbour. The building was originally used to store coal, but became part of the museum in 1981-82, when it was renovated with the lap-board planks the exterior still has today.
Building B-70 at 25 Hans Egedesvej is one of the smaller buildings. The building is listed as worthy of preservation and is used as a depot by the museum. It was built in 1846 and used as a brewhouse and forge, as indicated by the remaining of two original white chimneys. Later it was also a bakery.
B-74 is a rustic stone building at 27 Hans Egedesvej. It is a listed building and houses the museum’s cooper exhibition. The building can be traced back to 1907-08, but was extended in 1922. It was originally used to store petroleum, but when the town’s old copper’s workshop burnt down in 1949 the stone building was converted into a new cooper’s shop that was in use until 1969.
B-81 or the Black Warehouse is at 19 Hans Egedesvej. It is a listed building and is now used for museum storage. The building was constructed in 1927 to store timber. The roof is painted with the code number C 11, which was the aerial identification number of Nuuk during World War II, helping Allied planes navigate when they flew over Greenland.
B-1859 is a relatively large building at 8 Hans Egedesvej. It is a listed building and now houses the museum’s exhibition Inuit Forms of Transport.
The Stone Warehouse, as the building is also known due to its beautiful, stone construction, was built in 1928 and originally used for storing dried and salted fish. In 1977-78 the building was used by the National Museum, then from 1991-2007 by the National Archives.
B-1860 or the Red Warehouse is at 10 Hans Egedesvej. It is a listed building and now houses the museum exhibitions Paleo-Inuit and Arctic Peasants – Norse Greenlanders, as well as some museum stores. The building was constructed in 1924, and was originally a fish warehouse. The building was restored in 1980-81, after which it became part of the museum.