Results announced for Norwegian logging museum contest

21 October 2020
Credit: Karres en Brands
  • Karres en Brands
  • Karres en Brands
  • Karres en Brands

Glomma River


Karres en Brands wins with design emphasising the natural world

Earlier this year, Museums in Akershus launched an international design competition for a centre celebrating the culture and natural heritage of northern Europe’s largest inland delta. Located half an hour from Oslo on the banks of the Glomma River, the new museum will explore the local and international history of the logging industry, while raising awareness of the importance of wetlands as a habitat for plants and animals and a natural resource for humans. Now, the contest jury has announced Karres en Brands as the winner out of 136 submissions, with a design that highlights the relationship between people and water.

The winning proposal focuses on framing nature and generating spaces for interaction, rather than creating iconic architecture that might detract from the character of the location. The Longhouse building marks the water's edge, clearly articulated by a gateway that frames the entrance. Carefully choreographed routes allow visitors to move through the museum exhibits in a 3D helix-like path, while offering glimpses into workshops and laboratories. The entire construction system is timber based, with the skin of the building composed of vertical charred wood layers whose shape and rhythm refer to the logging process. This design makes it possible to open and close various sliding ‘curtains’ in the façade, regulating the amount of sun exposure.

Karres en Brands considers that the most important part of the proposal is not the museum itself, but the public route that sections it and stretches all the way to the water. This extensive public gesture, called the Longboard, is a 200m hybrid between public plaza, boardwalk, bridge and cultural space. Extending far into the water as a reference to the extensive log driving structures along the Glomma, it provides a comfortable path from the water and parking area into the museum. Vidar Mørch, a spokesperson for Museums in Akershus, stated: “The museum is in harmony with the surrounding delta landscape, and respects and contributes to the history and logging heritage that is so characteristic of this area.” 

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This competiton was first published by TenderStream on 23.03.2020 here

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