The Old Bergen Museum

Bergen, Norway
AART / architects
1-5 Stories

PROJECT: The Old Bergen Museum

CLIENT: City Museum of Bergen

SIZE: 1.700 sq.m.

The visitor centre frames the arrival to the Old Bergen Museum and adds new layers to the story of one of Norway's largest open-air museums, where visitors can explore the cultural heritage of Bergen.

In the 19th century, Bergen was the largest wooden town in Europe, where wooden houses formed the framework for busy squares and streets. The historic town can be experienced in the Old Bergen Museum, whose story will now be consolidated and recounted in the new visitor centre. Constructed as three connected but staggered saddleback-roofed houses in wood, the visitor centre interprets the historic town environment such that respect for the city's cultural heritage and modern museum communication go hand in hand.

Not only is the visitor centre modelled upon the old wooden houses, it also draws the historic town environment into the foyer and frames the view of the open-air museum. It turns outwards and inwards at one and the same time. It connects the outdoors and indoors while creating an inner, spatial relationship supported by a centrally located stairway that invites visitors to spend time and opens the exhibition rooms across floors; all with a focus on providing visitors with a taste of the experience that awaits them.

"The winning proposal is marked by high quality and a timeless expression well suited to the other buildings in the museum. Through it, we will strengthen the story of the museum, consider the town history in a broader context and revitalise the local area." - Marianne L. Nielsen / CEO at Bymuseet i Bergen

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