The sculpture park, which is home to works by Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson and Elmgreen & Dragset, is located one hour north of Oslo, adjacent to Jevnaker’s River Randselva. Built around a historic paper mill, the site occupies both embankments of the waterway, with an old bridge serving as the only crossing.
The proposed design has been conceived as a simple beam that spans the river, forming a second bridge for the site. A twist in the building’s volume allows the structure to emerge from the lower forested area, towards the elevated hillside opposite.
‘This creates a series of interconnected spaces,’ explains BIG. ‘A vertical stack of galleries for media, paintings, and sculpture to the south, and a horizontal, open gallery, ideal for sculptures and large installations, to the north’.
Visitors enter the museum through a triple height space at the southern end of the building, containing the institution’s information center and shop. From this entrance, guests have clear sightlines towards the other end of the museum, where a café offers views of the pulp mill and the surrounding landscape. A fanning stairway connects the various levels, doubling as an informal seating area and providing a space for video projections and performance art.
The sculptural façade is a combination of brushed stainless steel and insulated glazed panels, clad with a reflective UV film to protect the museum’s artwork. Electrical solar shading is integrated in the framing system, offering both translucent brightness and complete darkness.
‘We were instantly fascinated by the dramatic landscape of Kistefos — the winding river, forested riverbanks and the steep topography’, explains BIG. ‘Our proposal for a new art museum acts like a second bridge in the sculpture park, forming a continuous loop across both riverbanks. With the inhabited bridge, we stumbled upon our first experiment with social infrastructure — a building that serves as a bridge — or a cultural institution that serves as a piece of infrastructure.’
A completion date for the project has been scheduled for 2019.