Menu

MUNCH AREA MASTER PLAN
Oslo, Norway

CLIENT HAV Eiendom, Oslo Kommune
PROGRAM Mixed-use development comprised of the new Munch Museum, business center, boutique art hotel, luxury housing, rental lofts, hospitality, and retail; designed to complement the existing development in Bjørvika Harbor, including the new Opera, Oslo Central Station, the Barcode, and the Deichman Library
AREA 77,775 m² (837,165 sf)
BUDGET NA
STATUS Limited competition, second prize, 2009
ARCHITECT REX
PERSONNEL Lee Altman, Haviland Argo, Gabrielle Brainard, Keith Burns, Alex Diez, Jeffery Franklin, Javier Haddad, David Menicovich, Joshua Ramus, Jacob Reidel
CONSULTANTS José Miguel Iribas, Transsolar

View corridor down Aker River Commons

The Aker River mediates between the grand scale of Bjørvika and the compact, residential character of Bispevika. The river also makes a less happy demarcation between Oslo’s eastern and western centers, a distinction that resists the creation of an all-inclusive “OXLO.”

Placing the Munch Museum on the site suggested by the zoning plan runs contrary to the differing characters intended by the plan for Bjørvika and Bispevika. Further, the footprint of this site is too small to properly organize galleries and circulation in a state-of-the-art museum facility.

Moving the Munch Museum to the end of Bjørvikutstikkeren locates it appropriately within the grand character of Bjørvika, and liberates the former site for a development more appropriate to Bispevika: a 24-hour boutique art hotel. More importantly, the new, larger site is better suited for a museum. The switch, however, also seemingly separates Munch metaphorically from his historic connection to east Oslo.

By bending Paulsenkaia to become the museum’s main entry and adding a pedestrian footbridge from Bjørvikutstikkeren, the Munch Museum literally participates in both east Oslo and Bjørvika’s extension of the city center. Formerly a focal-point of Oslo’s division, the Munch Museum is now positioned as the symbol of its unification.

The Munch Museum is rotated off Bjørvikutstikkeren’s axis to orient its cardinal view toward the fjord, and to maintain ample width at the mouth of Bispeviken. Low and compact, the Munch Museum preserves views of the fjord from atop the Opera and from the buildings along the Aker River Commons.

Sited on Bjørvikutstikkeren, the Munch Museum creates a significant pedestrian draw along the commercial areas, increasing their value and the city’s access to the fjord.

The porous ground floors of the commercial areas stitch the Aker River Commons and the Station Commons into an “über commons,” worthy of the Opera House, the Munch Museum, and the Deichmanske Main Library.

During summer, the commons operate as planned, their life activated by the shops, cafés, and restaurants contained in the commercial areas. During cold or inclement weather, the links and courtyards within the commercial areas serve as an “interior commons” linking Dronning Eufemias gate to the Munch Museum.

Ground Plan and Typical Plan

Similar to the proposed design of the Munch Museum, the three courtyard buildings use strategy—not signature form—to make a lasting, positive mark on their environs. Seemingly just three, simple, contemporary versions of Oslo’s urban fabric stepping down toward the water, they harbor secret gardens that stitch together the Aker River Commons and the Station Commons.

Similar to the proposed design of the Munch Museum, the three courtyard buildings use strategy—not signature form—to make a lasting, positive mark on their environs. Seemingly just three, simple, contemporary versions of Oslo’s urban fabric stepping down toward the water, they harbor secret gardens that stitch together the Aker River Commons and the Station Commons.

Each garden is distinct, aligned to the program of its container. The housing block contains a forest; the business center contains a piazza; and the hotel block contains a rustic seafront. Coincidentally, their contents also reference Oslo’s expression, “The blue and the green and the city in between.”

The courtyard of the housing block contains a forest.

Images Credits: 2, 15: Luxigon

(/)   Prev / Next