C.F. Møller Architects have designed the Sogn & Fjordane Art Museum in the small Norwegian town of Førde drawing upon the town’s distinctive landscape such as the surrounding mountains and Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier on the European mainland, which lies in close proximity.
The central location on the edge of Jøstra River along the main road Langbruvegen has resulted in an architectural approach that emphasizes the building’s importance as a cultural institution which embraces entire surrounding area. The museum’s facade appears like a crystal-clear block of ice has slid down from the surrounding landscape.
The angled lines are reminescent of the fracture lines in ice, creating a series of irregular window apertures. During the evening the lines are illuminated, making the museum appear like a sparkling block in the middle of the night.
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.
A triangular continuous void in the center of the building provides large surfaces suitable for exhibitions throughout the building. A sculptural staircase adds fluidity and visual interest to the space.
The cool surfaces of the exterior are brought inside through the raw, polished concrete floor, but are contrasted by the use of wood, and warm colours. The individual exhibition spaces were kept neutral, leaving the artwork itself bring colour.
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.
Client: Sogn & Fjordane, Futurum AS
Address: Førde, Norway
Architect: C.F. Møller Architects
Construction: Åsen & Øvrelid
Landscape: Schønherr Landskab
Engineers: Hjellnes Consult, Sweco AS, Nord Vest Miljø AS
Size: 3,000 m²
Prizes: 1st Prize in architectural competition – 2006, Førde Municipal Architecture Award – 2014
*All images and information courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects.