A Spiral Bridge Concept for a New Art Museum

It's a sculpture garden, a museum, and a bridge—with a twist.

by Beckett Mufson
Oct 20 2015, 3:30pm

Images: BIG

Danish architecture wunderkind Bjarke Ingels' firm, BIG, has unveiled designs for an art museum that's also a bridge spanning a river outside Oslo, Norway. The proposal for a new campus for the Kistefos Museum, whose focus on industrial design and contemporary sculpture make BIG's Möbius strip-like concept a match seemingly made in architecture heaven.

The 4,600-square-foot bridge would connect a series of outdoor sculpture gardens for a total of 886,000 square feet of versatile art space. BIG describes the surrounding landscape as, "a natural landscape of rivers, waterfalls, islands, canyons and forests; an industrial landscape of mills, factories, warehouses, power plants, dams and bridges; and finally a sculptural landscape of abstract objects in the dramatic topography of rocks, flora and water." In fact, this concept eschews the originally proposed site close to an old mill in order to maintain the historical value of the space. In other words, in with the new, but the old stays, too.

Bjarke Ingels is known both for his work on major skyscrapers like Two World Trade Center, and experiments like the Lego architecture he made with Olafur Eliasson and a smokestack that blows giant smoke rings. The Kistefos Museum fits somewhere in between. "From the first time I set foot on the soil of Kistefos Sculpture Park, I was struck by the beauty of the landscape. The sculptures reflect and engage in the topography and the river in a truly magnificent way. Being able to contribute to the landscape of buildings, art and nature is a true pleasure," David Zahle, one of the Partners-in-Charge, tells The Creators Project.

Founding partner Bjarke Ingels continues, "The museum visit itself will be a bridge, not a goal—and the exhibits inside an interior extension of the promenade through the Sculpture Park. With the inhabited bridge, we stumbled upon our first experiment with social infrastructure—a building that serves as a bridge—or a cultural institution that serves as a piece of infrastructure.” 

BIG's collaborators include AKT Architects and Davis Langdon. Construction for the new Kistefos Museum begins in 2016 and is projected to be completed by 2019. See more of BIG's work on their website.


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Bjarke Ingels
kistefos museum