Architects: C.F. Møller Architects
Construction: Åsen & Øvrelid
Landscape: Schønherr Landskab
Engineers: Hjellnes Consult, Sweco AS, Nord Vest Miljø AS
Size: 3,000 sqm
Completion date: 2012
Photography: Oddleiv Apneseth, Stein Sandemose Bårdsen
Location: Førde, Norway
The small Norwegian town of Førde draws its qualities from its interaction with the surrounding mountains, which are visible everywhere, and from Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier on the European mainland, which lies in close proximity to the town.
The town’s new museum, Sogn & Fjordane Kunstmuseum also draws upon the distinctive landscape for its architectural expression: the museum lies like a crystal-clear block of ice that has slid down from the surrounding mountains.
The crystalline form provides an asymmetrical plan solution, with varying displacements in the facade. The facade is clad in white glass with a network of angled lines, reminiscent of the fracture lines in ice. This network also defines the irregular window apertures. In the evening these lines are illuminated, so that the museum lies like a sparkling block in the middle of the town’s darkness.
Inside, visitors move upwards through the museum’s four floors of exhibition space, and at the top a panoramic view of the mountains can be enjoyed from a roof terrace that can also function as an exhibition space or stage.
C.F. Møller Architects were also responsible for the design of the SEIF office building which is the museum’s closest neighbour, and for a residential complex on the same site which is presently under construction.