A clean and simple sculptural object is located in the middle of a spectacular landscape at the heart of the Jøssingfjord. In strong contrast to the nature in its surroundings, this new element will constitute a landmark this special area.

Allowing for a new definition and perception of the fantastic natural environment embedding him, the museum is a reference point.


Open international competition 2011


Dalane region

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Jøssingfjord, Norway


2.000 m²


Public building


Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


The project is located on the highest part of the site. The main entrance and outdoor seating areas are located facing the road to maximize the visibility and exposure of the museum to its potential visitors.

The lower part of the site, with a flatter terrain, is well suited for car park and arrival zone. By organizing the car-parking in several pockets adjacent to the road, surrounded by vegetation, the visitor’s journey towards the museum unfolds naturally along the existing access road and trough the vegetation.


The new visitor center is part and completes a loop of different destinations on the site.

Centrally located, the parking allows the visitors to arrive in a dedicated area and then wander around the museum on a well-defined system of footpaths running throughout the site. These networks of path in the nature allow the museum to extend its exhibitions beyond its physical walls with outdoor exhibitions and installations in the nature.

press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom

The museum is organized over 3 floors where the different functions and programs were carefully organized in order to optimize circulation areas and connection throughout the building. Expanding in its full 3-dimensionality, the building explores a rich variety of spacious rooms looking into a dense forest and scenic landscape. This tailored framing of the surrounding nature gives a very peculiar and unique atmosphere to the exhibition room with natural light shaped by the architecture and nature.

The compactness of the building also produces a very energy efficient structure, especially in regard to the relationship between floor and façade.

The building exploits the existing topography and facilitates therefore a ground floor plan connecting both the main entrance, outdoor seating areas and all the main “open” public functions of the visitor center. The “closed” features and exhibition spaces are organized on the upper and lower levels and thus liberating a full panoramic view from the entrance level in all directions.

The exhibition rooms, warehouses and delivery are all on the same level with direct access for art and supplies from the loading area avoiding therefore vertical handling of either permanently or temporary exhibition materials.

The museum is intended as a dark pigmented concrete structure shaped like a shell with generous openings.

The colored-glass reflective elements are well integrated to dissolve in the exterior walls’ materiality, creating a solid overall expression.

Related Projects