The museum building

Astrup Fearnley Museum was built as part of Tjuvholmen Icon Complex (2006-2012) and was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Narud-Stokke-Wiig.

Architectural statement:
The project is set in a wonderful position at the outermost point where the city stretches into the Fjord; it is a big shelter for art over three buildings integrated in the landscape, the natural destination of the promenade from the City Hall along the harbor quay. The Museum starts outside: the park is an organic game of canals, bridges and lawns where sculptures of the Selvaag collection are displayed in the nature and in the Piazza. Once inside the visitors experience the temporary exhibition of the Astrup Fearnley Museet in a big double-height space, where natural light is filtered from a glass roof. Following level by level a sequence of smaller art spaces is linked by a bridge, leading the view towards the park and the Piazza, connecting the inside with the outside. Walking out on the opposite side of the canal the experience continues: more spaces for art on two levels show the Museum’s permanent collection. This is like a little city where the visitor can be in contact with nature, take a swim, enjoy urban life, while contemplating art.

The design of the glass roof strongly identifies the project. Its curved shape crosses the canal between the buildings. Slender steel columns, reinforced with cable rigging, are repeating the sequence of the masts of the sailboats in harbor. The timber cladding, with its soft silver-grey color, due to its exposure to the weather, highlights the dynamic shape of the glass roof and contributes to the friendly welcoming of the Museum. This is meant to be a place for silence and meditation, but also somewhere to meet people or just enjoy a cup of coffee, while looking at boats sailing in the Fjord.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop