Museum in Jøssingfjord

Museum in Jøssingfjord Fully across

Project information
-- m²

Project contact

Kurt Singstad

+47 918 03 727

Innovative, daring and uncompromising when Mad architects took the 2nd place in the major international competition for the new museum in Jøssingfjord.

How do we build out in the nature which in itself is more beautiful and more magnificent than what any other architect could create? With humility. Also, with a simple lesson from the surrounding countryside:

The unpredictable and the harmonious are not mutually exclusive, but on the contrary quite often go hand in hand.

"How do we build out in the nature which in itself is more beautiful and more magnificent than what any other architect could create?"

What a place!

Jøssingfjorden is the southmost of the characteristic and famous fjords of Western Norway. The landscape is dramatic and the bay has a long industrial history.

The very landscape consists of two distinct sizes – the vertical sides of the valley and the horizontal fjord and ground.

We are trying with our project to create a clear base for experiencing this room. The surface of the valley is enhanced and gets to play its role as the floor along with the other defining landscape elements. But the building itself is placed in the inner part of the site – with views over the fjord.

An activated valley

Jøssingfjorden is frequently visited for various reasons: some come for climbing and some for hiking. Others come to learn about the site geology or to visit the famous Helleren-houses. What is common for all visitors is that they arrive by car. Therefore, with the project it was chosen to arrange the parking at a central part of the plot rather than hiding it away in the outskirts, so all activities can be organized and be made an active part of the project.

The valley is divided into different fields across the valley’s direction. Jøssingfjord has today an active quarry crushing stones. Based on the local stones and using local knowledge, we let the different fields of the valley floor consist of local stones in different formats.

The Museum

The new building is positioned as a natural division between the abandoned industrial surface, the valley and the countryside. The centre will literally get a large contact area toward the visitors, inviting to many different types of use and experiences, without infringing the harmony of the great space of the landscape.

The centre ties together the different activities and attractions on each side of the valley, and the proposal include a direct physical connection to the trolley track that provides opportunity for all, regardless of age or physical condition, to reach the top of the valley and a newly established viewing platform.

In the middle of the building to the south lies the main entrance, with a plaza extending past the cafe and down the river. The building has a public-oriented part facing west and an operating part to the east. At the intersection of these, there is a reception with store front entrance to the auditorium. Here, one can see into the large exhibition hall for permanent exhibitions.

The visitors can go past the reception and move in a loop further into the exhibition hall and up a ramp to the changing exhibition. The laboratories are situated here in direct connection with the changing exhibition. A new ramp leads the visitor down behind the desk and back to the large exhibition hall.

With simple means we create a beautiful museum where nature and old industry inform a building logically solving all challenges in a considerate way. While the house itself is a strong exclamation that do not interfere with the landscape.

But that intervenes directly in the way we experience it.

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