The Herreros Architecture Studio has completed a work that not only changes the Oslo skyline, but also becomes a first-class icon and enhances Norway’s cultural and leisure offer.
A modern building must be connected to the roots of the environment from which it emerges. «Not that it was a living entity», some incredulous might think, and they would not be without some reason. Buildings house people, and they introduce the natural part that the built entity lacks. A building is like the shell of a turtle, changeable, it grows with its users, identity and faithful, man’s best friend, it is clear.
Since October, Norwegians have been able to enjoy a spectacular building that blends into the past and boasts of the future. For Oslo it is already a benchmark, not only because of its location, on its promenade, but also because of its geometry, which generated some controversy due to its height. And it is that many considered it excessive for the area of the city in which it is located: only 13 floors, reaching about 57 meters.
Munch Museum, the new jewel of Oslo
Luckily, nothing stopped the construction of the Munch Museum, whose idea was born thanks to an international competition, won by the Herreros studio, led by the architect Juan Herreros and his partner and partner Jens Richter. Both have developed the spectacular design that your eyes see, and which houses the world’s largest collection of the creator of the painting The Scream. In total about 26,000 square meters of use and enjoyment, but don’t leave, the building still has room for more.
The building, located in the Bjørvika neighborhood, develops vertically, resting on a podium-shaped base, which contains a lobby that gives way to recreational, commercial, cultural and restaurant uses. In this way, the museum becomes a social element of the environment, serving other concerns of the population.
A space for art and fun
From the lobby you ascend to the top through a huge showcase, panoramic elevators and escalators that look out over the city of Oslo thanks to huge stained glass windows. But, from the eighth floor something changes. The building begins to lean, forming a five-story bow at the top, and acknowledging the city. If this isn’t a grand gesture, I don’t know what is.
The star of the property is a terrace/observatory/restaurant that will delight all visitors and that, according to Herreros himself, offers views of the city that were known to exist, but that until now could not be enjoyed. The roof will undoubtedly be the perfect link between the citizens of Oslo and their own city.
The Munch Museum is the work of two Spanish architects
Another success of the building is the placement of perforated aluminum sheets on the façade, with different degrees of opening, allowing translucency, while diffusing the light and the displayed elements. This gives an enigmatic appearance to the building, which changes depending on the angle and the weather. Of course, these elements also serve as protectors from high temperatures, partly retaining the direct sun.
The construction of the building began in 2016 and has recently been completed. The promoters have been Oslo Kommune and Kultur- og idrettsbygg and the Spanish architecture studio has had its Norwegian counterpart LPO Arkitekter as a companion. In engineering, the companies Multiconsult, Hjellnes Consult, Brekke & Strand Akustikk and Rambøll Norge stand out.
A green building that reduces the carbon footprint
The property, in addition, is provided with all the tools that it is capable of being considered a green building. It has used recycled materials, such as an important part of the aluminum on the façade; airlocks have been placed to regulate temperature and humidity by opening them, saving on cooling and heating; and the east façade is the most opaque, thus avoiding solar incidence. In general, FutureBuilt criteria have been used, designed for a sustainable city and future.
The building has been built with low carbon concrete, which reduces the carbon impact between 40 and 80% compared to traditional concrete; and recycled steel, estimating the useful life of the structure at 200 years. The applications of passive construction standards have been relevant, reducing energy consumption with considerably insulated windows. By the way, the facades have more than 7,000 square meters of glass.
The Munch Museum has renovated the city’s skyline
The carbon footprint is reduced thanks to the connection of the property with the district heating system and a seawater cooling plant. And as if this were not enough, the building has denied parking spaces, to prevent users from getting too close with their vehicles. Not even the staff own parking spaces!!
Obviously, all resources used to improve buildings are welcome, especially if these resources extend their effectiveness and useful life. The Munch Museum is a unique piece that will give a lot to talk about, providing 11 large rooms to exhibit, eleven huge spaces with different dimensions to adapt to all kinds of art. Oslo has a new skyline, a new observation point and, above all, a building that will give Edvard Munch’s work a long life.