The urban ambition is to create a new cultural epicentre, which adds to the current waterfront developments of Oslo. Incorporated into our competition design for the Museum is an urban design move, extending the rectangular Raadhusplassen through and beyond the two adjacent historic station buildings, affording the new museum a frontage onto a new a public square, which also opens up views of the Nobel Peace Centre.
The Norwegian landscape is solid and monolithic, but eroded and cracked in places – it has been formed by glaciers, massive volumes of ice that reflect, refract and filter light according to their density and depth. Responding to this concept the new museum is a play between light and dark, solid and void, an urban landscape inhabited by art, suspended between two different horizons. The translucent volume above the main Hall is a giant light filter by day, softening the contrast of the sky, but at night it is also a light emitter, and during the long winter nights the museum turns itself inside out and its glow is widely visible, creating an ever-changing immaterial landmark.
The sequence of large exhibition spaces creates a route through all four exhibition areas and can be used individually or house an interdisciplinary exhibition. The main hall is not only shared by all parts of the museum, but also with the entire city, as both a public circulation route –as a diagonal route from the public transport hub to the busiest point along Pipervika and towards Aker Brygge and Raathusplassen – and serves as the central foyer of the museum complex and a space for large scale installations and events that will create a unique identity for the new museum globally.