ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Museum
  4. Norway
  5. Snøhetta
  6. 2007
  7. Petter Dass Museum / Snøhetta

Petter Dass Museum / Snøhetta

  • 01:00 - 30 May, 2008
Petter Dass Museum / Snøhetta
Petter Dass Museum / Snøhetta, Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of Snøhetta +15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Alstahaug, Norway
  • Collaborators

    Kjetil Traedal Thorsen, Tarald Lundevall, Astrid Renata Van Veen, Jim Dodson, Bartek Milewski, Maria Svaland, Jenny B. Osuldsen, Lars Jørstad Nordbye, Heidi Pettersvold
  • Client

    Alstahaug kommune
  • Area

    1350.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Snøhetta, Unknown photographer

From the architect. Introduction

The project involved designing a new 1350m2 museum building, a landscape plan for the surrounding site, parking facilities and a service building. The project was financed by Alstahaug kommune, Nordland fylkeskommune, Kultur- og kirkedepartementet and commercial contributions. Snøhetta have continuously been involved in the process since 2001 and until the opening of the museum on October the 20th 2007.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Building in a mountain

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Petter Dass is one of Norways most important and beloved National poets. He was also the Vicar at Alstahaug church from 1689 until his death in 1707. The strong historical importance of the surroundings made the task of locating and designing a new building on the site sensitive and very challenging. Snøhetta´s team decided to make a new site by making a cut in the landscape.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

This cut allows a freestanding building which in volume balances the mass removed. This bold solution creates a new but humble relationship to the historical sites, as well as allowing an expressive architecture. In this way the new museum contributes to visualise the historical span from the origin of the church to our time.

The site is defined by two 70 meter long wire-cut rock walls 15.5 meters apart. Between these walls a new ground level is established. The museum itself is 11.5 meters wide creating a 2 meter clearance to the rock wall on ether side. This open space reviles a new sightline and allows the visitors to circulate between the building and the rock walls.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Snøhetta's overall intention has been to integrate the building with the landscape by letting the roof section relate to the section of the terrain. The transparent walls of the museums ground floor emphasizes the relationship between the landscape and building. At both ends of the closed and "floating" volume there are large glass surfaces, offering views towards the church on one side and towards the sky on the other.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Though this visual contact the building represents a relationship between the historical site representing the past, and the view towards the sky represents the future. The museum building itself represents the present and links Petter Dass´s achivements to our time, 300 years after his death.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Petter Dass Museum / Snøhetta" 30 May 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


coaches hire london · November 16, 2011

Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clearness to your submit is just excellent and that i can think you are an expert on this subject. Well together with your permission let me to grasp your RSS feed to keep up to date with imminent post. Thank you one million and please keep up the gratifying work.

Erling · February 18, 2009

Fantastic view from those windows.

Archenx · May 31, 2008

Nice project, I like the idea of integration with the existing landscape. And it would be great if more details could be provided and some of the photos could get reversed.


Comments are closed

Read comments
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Petter Dass Museum / Snøhetta