A glacial kind of culture

12 Sep 2012

The new Sogn & Fjordane Art Museum has opened in Forde, Norway, inspired by the glacier and ice-filled surrounding landscape

CF Moller Architects has designed a new art museum in Forde, north of Bergenin Norway, inspired by the surrounding mountains and the Jostedalsbreen Glacier ice blocks. The new Sogn & Fjordane Art Museum opened last Saturday, and is centrally located in Forde city, containing mainly works from the region, but also national art from the past century.

“The new building will help to stimulate interest in the arts in the region”, says the museum's director, Morten Johan Svendsen, who sees the 3000 sq-m building as a big asset for Forde, capable of catering for about 11,000 visitors.

The museum provides panoramic views of the mountains, with the appearance of a crystal-clear ice block that seems to have slid down from the surrounding mountains. CF Moller has incorporated the location’s distinctive landscape; in Forde city, the surrounding mountains are visible everywhere, and Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier on the European mainland, is very close to the city.

The museum's facade is covered with white glass intersecting lines, reminiscent of the fault lines in ice. In the evening the lights illuminate, so the museum is like a sparkling block in the middle of the city's darkness. The interiors move visitors up through the museum's four floors in an open stairway with a colour-saturated turquoise staircase that rises to the light and rooftop, which is designed for outdoor exhibitions and stage performances.

“The central location on the edge of Jostra river along the main road Langebruvegen, has resulted in an architectural approach that emphasises the building's importance as a cultural institution that embraces the whole catchment area”, says architect and partner in CF Møller Architects Klavs Hyttel.

CF Moller are also architects of the office building ‘United Hagen Atrium’, which its nearest neighbour, and a residential complex on the same property that is under construction. The firm has 30 employees in their office in Oslo, and this art museum is their first museum building in Norway. Other cultural projects of note are the Darwin Centre and the National Maritime Museum, The Sammy Ofer Wing in London, and extensions of prominent Danish museums - ARKEN, National Gallery of Art and Vendsyssel Art Museum.


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