Pb. 7014 St. Olavs plass, Oslo
closed d .: Easter day and Sunday Typology: Architecture, Art, Design
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design (The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Designn in Norwegian) in Oslo is the largest and most important museum in Norway; the museum, housed in an impressive stone-clad building designed by the German architectural firm Kleihues + Schuwerk inaugurated on June 11, 2022.
On the cover: The National Museum in Oslo; photo Frode Larsen / The National Museum.
The National Museum was founded in 1837 as Central Norwegian Statens Kunstmuseum and then renamed The National Gallery; in 2003, the institution merged with the Museum of Architecture, the Museum of Decorative Art and Design and the Museum of Contemporary Art to National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design (usually abbreviated to Nationalmuseet / Nasjonalmuseet). Following the merger, the Norwegian government decided to create a new large meeting place for the institution and in 2010 organized an international architectural competition won by the Germans as a result. Kleihues + Schuwerk.
With a significant delay in the scheduled date, the museum’s new building will be inaugurated on June 11, 2022.
An aerial photo of the National Museum complex with the historic Oslo West Station building in the foreground and the Pipervika Fjord on the left; photo Iwan Baan.
General planimetry; picture of Kleihues + Kleihues.
The National Museum’s headquarters are located on the site of the former Western Station (Vestbanestasjon) overlooking the fjord of Pipervika in the center of Oslo. With an area of 54,600 square meters, the museum is the largest in Scandinavia and one of the largest in Europe.
In addition to 13,000 square meters of exhibition space, the National Museum’s building also houses a restaurant, a shop, an auditorium, a multi-purpose hall, a library, laboratories, offices, archives and warehouses.
The building drawn by Klaus Schuwerk it is a massive construction, largely clad in gray Norwegian slate and topped by a translucent volume, known as the “Light Hall”, which houses a temporary exhibition hall of 2,400 square meters.
The new structure is integrated with two already existing buildings, including that of Oslo’s western station designed in 1872 by the architect Georg Andreas Bull, through an entrance courtyard. The ground floor houses the hall, the exhibition rooms, the cafeteria, the auditorium and the library, whose reading room is reflected by a pool of water. The first floor contains a sculpture atrium, exhibition rooms and a terrace with roof garden, while the Light Hall dominates the second floor.
The museum building, which cost 600 million euros, garnered mixed comments, while some praised the rational and sustainable ‘exhibition machine’, others judged it too expensive and visually uninteresting.
The museum’s south-east façade seen from Brynjulf Bulls Plass; photo Iwan Baan.
Three-dimensional model and plan for the other; pictures of Kleihues + Kleihues.
The entrance courtyard; photo Iwan Baan.
Bird’s eye view; the translucent volume that crowns the museum houses the “Light Hall,” a large space for temporary exhibitions; photo Iwan Baan.
The collection of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design is quite varied and includes about 47,000 pieces, of which 5,000 are exhibited in the museum’s premises, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, videos, decorative artefacts, clothing, fabrics and furniture, made from prehistoric times to the present day.
The highlight of the National Museum, however, is probably its collection of Norwegian and international paintings, especially the space dedicated to the famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
The museum has a remarkable collection of Munch’s works, full of about 235 works, including one of the four existing versions, probably the most famous, of the famous painting “The scream“.
The collection of paintings by the nineteenth century landscape architect is also interesting Johan Christian Dahl. The collection also contains notable works by, among others, Albrecht Dürer, Édouard Manet, Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani.
The National Museum’s events and activities offer temporary exhibitions, tours, film screenings and educational workshops.
Edvard Munch, “L’urlo”, 1893, oil, tempera and pastel on cardboard; photo National Museum / Børre Høstland.
Johan Christian Dahl, Stormy Clouds, 1835, oil on canvas; National Museum picture.
Sol LeWitt, Wall drawing # 839, exhibited in the sculpture room on the first floor; photo National Museum.
The library; photo Ina Wesenberg.
An interior image of the temporary exhibition hall known as the “Light Hall”; the transparent envelope of the room is made with thin sheets of marble “encapsulated” between two sheets of transparent glass; photo Iwan Baan.
Photo National Museum / Annar Bjørgli.