The ARK - National Museum at Vestbanen

Oslo, Norway
The Architecture of the new Oslo National Museum traces a sublime line across the Oslo skyline. This is a building that projects itself as a strong and clear iconic image that on the one hand denotes a place of international stature for the display of art and on the other a provocative yet appropriate contextual response to its picturesque site along the city harbor.
While the roof of the Ark curves to meet the sky its underside also rises to create a new overlapping territory where the boundary between the space of the City and the space of the Museum is blurred. Large-scale installations are displayed in expansive urban public space that extends into the Museum transforming the conventional ground level foyer into a new public exhibition, event and a meeting space for both residents of Oslo and visitors alike.
The Museum galleries are designed as versatile spaces offering curators the opportunity to reconfigure the museum exhibition spaces in a wide variety of ways. The placement of vault and workshop spaces alongside public areas transcends conventional notions of exhibition practices by offering the curators the opportunity to open up these typically inaccessible areas for public engagement and new types of museum experience. A unique feature of these galleries is the introduction of large light wells as architectural features. These illuminated shafts are positioned to take advantage of specific sun angles and to draw light and views deep into the interior spaces.
While the presence of these large columns of lights both complement and provide relief from the extensive collections on exhibit, more importantly they also speak of the profound connection between the rarefied realm of the museum and that of the world beyond.
Project Information
Date: 2009

Size: 53,000 sqm

Location: Oslo, Norway

Design Team:

Architect: Asymptote Architecture

Design: Hani Rashid, Lise Anne Couture

Project Director: John Guida

Design Team: Greg Derrico, Keehyun Ah

Reed Finlay, Billy Garcia, Francisco Waltersdorfer, Jeffrey Johnson,

Ildo Yang, Lisa Hedstrom, Andrew Ng, Byungjeen Seo, Ying Song

Client: Museum at Vestbanen


Structural Engineer: Werner Sobek

Environmental Design: Atelier 10