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CoDe design museum for Costa Smeralda cruise ship

The Costa Design Collection Museum (CoDe) for the Italian cruise ship is the first design museum at sea, highlighting the increasing trend for traveltainment as attractions converge.


The 400 sqm museum has been created on deck 7 of the Costa Smeralda and is intended to celebrate Italian creativity from the 1930s to the present day. CoDe has been designed by Adam Tihany of Tihany Design and curated by architect and design historian Matteo Vercelloni. It features over 470 exhibits, from furniture to fashion, focusing on objects that transcend trends to become classics of Italian design.

Immersive attraction

The museum is designed as a destination immersive attraction but also it is hoped that visitors will pass through repeatedly during their stay. Its location was chosen strategically, sitting at a crossroads connecting the restaurant zone with the casino and the Colosseo theatre. The area is always busy and visitors are lured in through a Kubrick-esque entrance tunnel with stainless steel walls and blood-red carpet.

Inside, objects are displayed within cylindrical glass islands and the museum features iconic brands such as furniture designers Emu, Cassina, Molteni, and Paola Lenti. TechnoGym, the state-of-the-art Italian gym manufacturer is also feted. A fashion showcase has been curated by actress Augusta Grecchi and a cinema section by film-maker Roberto Dassoni.

“The idea was to represent the evolution of our country’s tastes,” said Vercelloni, talking to Interni.

Traveltainment on the rise

Attractions are increasingly adding to their offerings via convergence – combining attractions or adding micro attractions within the macro offering. Traveltainment is burgeoning as airports add theme parks, FECs, spas and other attractions in the hopes of keeping travellers inside and interested for longer.

Leading the way is Jewel at Changi Airport, a £951 million 10-storey expansion which includes rides and games, walks and retreats, a 130-room hotel and a variety of shops and restaurants.

Museums are also becoming popular within airports as travel hubs realise that bored passengers often have several hours to kill while waiting for flights. Istanbul Airport launched a new museum last August, turning the airport into a venue for culture and art alongside its position as a global travel hub.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam Schiphol airport has not one but two museums – an offshoot of the NEMO Science Museum and a carefully curated edit of the Rijksmuseum.

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