New National Museum Oslo

TYPE Museum and office building
SIZE 54.000 m2
LOCATION Vestbanen, Oslo
STATUS Competition entry, honorable mention
CLIENT Statsbygg

TUPELO crew Maren Spilling, Vårin Indahl, Kari Klaveness, Mattis Myhra, Thor Arne Kleppan, Knut Hovland
Jury Evaluation:
The strength of this proposal lies in the clarity of its approach to the city. The ramp solution along Dronning Mauds gate towards City Hall Square is fully exploited, thus successfully advertising the museum to the most important pedestrian flow. At the same time, it is shaped in such a way that it also receives people approaching from Vestre Vika. In terms of urban coherence, the proposal is attractive in the way it covers the site – it actively supports the existing street plan.

The context
Currently the site is perceived as a wound in the urban fabric. Crossing of the site is difficult due to the different levels of the surrounding roads. Except for limited pedestrian movements along Munkedamsveien, access to Aker Brygge is limited to the sea-side. The proposal is attempting to stitch together this "wound" by establishing a morphology that mediates between the city fabric to the north of the site and Aker Brygge.

The proposal relates to the surrounding fabric with its building lines and heights. The building mass is pulled back from Vestbanen, giving room to the listed buildings. On either side, two volumes are projecting forward to frame the buildings, and to announce the National museum towards Rådhusplassen and Pipservika.

The office building is placed above the access road to Festningstunnelen along Munkedamsveien. Between the two volumes, a public passage is formed connecting Dronning Mauds gate to Holmens gate, Bryggetorget and Tjuvholmen.

Relationship to listed buildings
The surrounding buildings vary greatly in scale. The listed Vestbane buildings are much smaller in scale than the surrounding buildings. The proposal draws a line from the top of the buildings along Munkedamsveien to the ridge of the Vestbane buildings. This modifies the volume of Nasjonalmuseet so it relates to the scale on either side.

The proposal creates a backdrop to the listed buildings of the Vestbane. A space is created on either side, and together this forms a new composition. A paved surface frames the buildings. In this space activities from the surrounding buildings spill out and meet.

Built form and outside areas
The main entry is positioned at the extension of Rådhusgaten towards Dronning Mauds gate. A ramp announces the entrance towards Rådhusplassen, leading up to the main doors. The ramp defines a space for exhibitions and activities, and becomes a meeting-place. The building volume cantilevers above the entrance, creating an extravert foyer space going from outside to inside. The museum becomes part of the urban space outside.

A series of outside spaces of varying quality are defined. The ramp leading up to the main entrance is a continuation of the museum floor, and is refined in its quality. The sculpture garden between the museum and the Vestbane (housing the Nobel peace senter) is more intravert. Although with hard paving this space has the quality of a garden. Towards the south the space opens towards Pipervika.

Organisation and security
The absolute separation of public, and non-public flows within the building together with the organization of functions sustains the required safety zones. At the same time is it important the the institution is perceived as open and public, and to make it a real formal-, and informal meeting-place.

Fasade and materials
Due to the function and security demands of the building, the external skin is mainly closed. To contrast this, the facade is as open as possible in all circulation areas. The block towards the south demands daylight control and sun shading. This is solved by an external skin that also acts as a sun screen - a semi transparent skin of perforated and indentated aluminum, changing its degree of openness according to the angel of the sun. The patterned skin dematerializes the form, blurring the division of solid and void.