A giant of the arts in Scandinavia

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Museo nacional de Noruega Foto © Ina Wesenberg
© Ina Wesenberg

The new National Museum of Oslo, in Norway, is the largest in the Nordic countries, therefore, it represents a giant of the arts for the Slavs. The building that gathers five art collections on its surface of 56,400 square meters is a robust construction over the Oslo fjords, which bets on sustainability and longevity.

 

In a city of half a million inhabitants with more than 50 museums, it would seem difficult to consider the addition of another museum as important news. However, the largest museum in the Nordic countries was inaugurated in the center of the city on June 11 of this year. This is an impressive structure of brutalist style that stands like a fortress near the city’s harbor.

 

The National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design is the result of the union of the National Gallery, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Museum of Architecture. The result is a space that concentrates 400,000 pieces of art in a key location, as it is located behind the Nobel Peace Prize headquarters.

 

 

MNN 2 Foto Kleihues Schuwerk
© Kleihues Schuwerk

A timeless construction

 

As for  the design of this spectacular work, the firm,  Kleihues + Schuwerk,  was established as a result of the union of the German firm Kleihues + Kleihues with architect Klaus Schuwerk. The vision of the project is oriented to transcend in time,  just li  the temples of the Middle Ages.

 

The materials used in the construction include concrete, marble, oak, bronze, and slate, with the intention that the wear and tear of time will add even more personality to the work.

 

The L-shaped building has a total of 86 rooms for permanent exhibitions with recessed lighting in the ceilings, and large windows to enjoy the view of the city and the port. In addition, the building has wooden floors and enough space to house sculptures and give visitors the freedom to move.

 

 

The traveling dome

 

The building is crowned by a wing surrounded by seven-meter-high translucent marble and glass panels. The so-called “Illuminated Hall” glows at night and becomes a focal point of the city.

 

In this space, the museum will house temporary exhibitions of several artists or large-scale sculptures and installations that connect to a terrace for social interaction and to enjoy the views of the city. The idea is for the new museum to become a tourist platform that puts Oslo in the spotlight of cultural tourism.

 

Another interesting aspect of this museum is that it is part of a series of constructions that have given a touch of beauty to the Norwegian capital. Cultural construction began in Oslo in 2008 with the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, which was followed by the private art museum Astrup Fearnley in 2012 and, later, the Deichman Library and the Munch Museum.

 

Now, the new National Museum is included in the refinement of Oslo, as the fifth pillar under which this city buries a past of elevated roads, train tracks, and stacks of containers at the edge of its fjord, to pave the way for cultural and sustainable buildings that aim to catapult it to higher standards in the world.

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