the idea of architectures looking each other and getting into relation is a constant in architectural history. tiberius wanted the 12 villas he realized on the island of capri to be seen from each other as if they were parts of a unique idea.
platon defined beautyness with relation. according to him an object is beautiful if it is able to get into relation with us and the world and it is ugly if it doesn’t. in this sense art and architecture are the first and most impor- tant objects which create the world.
the new national museum of art, architecture and design gets on two lev- els into relation with the existing structure of the city: with the two existing buildings on the site the museum is creating a new entrance forum, actually to be used to introduce to the museum with sculptures and other objects of art, and as outer space for the café. the building here has a similar eaves size than the existing. looking from the pier to the building it (see perspective) the different parts of the building are staggering up to the horizontal element of the alabaster hall. on this second level the museum gets into relation with the existing monuments in the area, the powerful city hall and the akershus fortress.
the entrance forum
the visitor can access the entrance courtyard from the two sides, the city in the north and the pier /aker brygge in the south-east. as the two vest- banen station buildings have front facades also to the courtyard side it is possible to create a new piazza together with them. the new museum building wants to respect them in their size and character.
through a generous foyer the visitor enters the museum. here there are direct connections to the design, arts and crafts exhibition and to the café and bookshop. the library and the presentation area are closed to the main and side entrance and are organized around a ‘reflecting pool’, which is illuminat- ing the reading room and the section of art on paper. the latter is directly connected to its corresponding depot.
large stairs lead up from the foyer to the first floor, which is completely dedicated to the permanent exhibition of older and contemporary art. the halls and cabinets are organized around a central sculpture courtyard, connected with the terrace and the sunken gardens on the roof.
a kind of temple on the acropoli
the last floor is the alabaster hall, like superimposed onto the stone build- ing of the first two floors. with its magic light it is not a conventional exhibi- tion area, but a challenging space for artists. as mies van der rohes neue nationalgalerie or the kunsthaus in bregenz it could lead to impressing installations on or with the facade and inside the space.
the alabaster hall is also a kind of lantern in the cityscape of oslo and the symbol of the new museum.
the skin of the hall is a double facade with thin slabs of alabaster mounted on glass. with an integrated system of blades it is possible to have com- plete daylight control.