National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design

Jonathan Dreyfous
Victoria A. Rospond
Lea H. Cloud
Anke Roggenbuck
Gloria Kim
Raphael Pereira
Emile Rog
Katie Hilton
Alana Anderson
Oslo, Norway

The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design is a proposal for an international competition. Our proposal creates a space for the co-mingling of art and everyday practice of life, rethinking well tread Norwegian cultural touchstones (the relationship of the individual to Nature), not as cliché, but as a retooling.

Except for the corner held by the Nobel Peace Center, a void in the Oslo city fabric is created by the trace of the old railway loop coupled with the chasm of below-grade highways. The cityscape is conceived of as a positive force pushing into the building mass.

Programmatic elements such as an after-hours library/café with a view of the city and a bookstore create a street frontage. A forecourt creates a new public space, a crescent-shaped plaza, which is conceived of as an urban carpet connecting up to the vertical landscape of the museum collection. It is a space that is both inside and outside; individualized and communal; a singular cultural form and a shared event. It is an extension of the Oslo fjord itself.

Three distinct volumes define the museum massing: the exhibition wing, the curatorial/education wing and a totemic core that can support the museum’s logistical needs and a future government office tower. Paths through the museum connect street axes across the site. The mesh "mitten" skin of the building is a triangulated pattern made of recycled aluminum, offering a cohesive matrix that responds to local conditions, varying in depth and density according to its location on the site. Each coffer creates a lens that looks back onto the fjord and the city. Areas of greater solar exposure receive infill (native vegetation) to screen sunlight while adding dynamic color variation across the façade. The mesh deforms into distinct openings both in the fjordscape and the light wells that penetrate the building mass.