After being awarded with the top prize at the Munch Museum Competition in 2009, Spanish architecture firm Estudio Herreros has finally completed the construction of the museum and will open its doors on October 22, 2021. The long-awaited museum will showcase a rich collection of Norwegian heritage and culture and thousands of artworks by artist Edvard Munch, as well as present a contemporary museum concept that highlights architecture's urban role and historical responsibility of Oslo and the nation as a whole.
The project was hit with several setbacks over the years, including political obstacles regarding the proposed design and location, as well as Covid-19-related delays. The new 13-story, 60-meter-tall structure is set to be a dynamic center for contemporary culture that caters to the public's different demographics and interests. The architecture will serve as a reference to the original Viking port, shifting Oslo's focal point towards its intersection with the fiord.
The museum was designed with an ascending itinerary that creates a sense of vertical communication; The ground level, which overs the public a gathering space and recreational facilities, is connected to the rooftop, which houses the observatory and terraces, translating the different historical strata of Oslo. The programmatic complexity of the services and facilities found in the museum descend as the visitor goes upwards; the ground floor will house the most functions, restaurant, cafes, offices, research library, education department, etc., gradually decreasing in functions as the visitors reach the top observatory.
The project was built based on ecologically-conscious criteria, where the structure, ventilation systems, and construction collaborate in accordance with the Passive House concept. The façades are clad with perforated aluminum of different opacities that "give rise to an enigmatic, evanescent perception of the building", which correspond to the slight changes generated by Oslo’s climate to create different shades throughout the day.