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Zaha Hadid Architects

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Munch Stenersen Museum

  • Oslo, Norway
  • 2009 – TBC
  • HAV Eiendom AS
  • Competition / Research
  • 50000m2

Our concept abstracts the contradictions that segregate Bjørvika from Oslo’s city centre. A relationship of opposition; a parallel isolated discourse. Using concealed nature interwoven with strands of culture, linking geometries with experience. Shape is also derived from processes of opposition, distorting inwards to create sheltered public and private space.

The establishment of new institutions as a framework for regeneration provided the opportunity for us to open new integration links to the existing urban fabric.

In this light, our proposal abstracted the particularities and contradictions that seemed to segregate Bjørvika from Oslo’s city centre. At the time, they coexisted in a shared history which didn’t correspond to the city’s present understanding of itself.

The new Opera transforms the area. Isolated, it is an urban island, with its own topography, which presents a problem of integration. Our proposal was based on superimposing a mathematical constraint onto a new city vision, established in a masterplan that could only be projected onto the existing urban fabric.

It is the shift, the movement and a dispersal of experiences which ground the basic principles of the morphology – which are then translated into the public realm.

Interestingly, the Fjord City Resolution tries to recover a natural aspect of Bjørvika which currently seems to be secondary to the infrastructure and the urban skyline to the west. Our aim was to interweave this concealed nature with strands of culture, for geometries to link with experience.

An interconnected strategy of services, transport links and public spaces form the ground fabric that continues into the building, creating contrast and varied experiences. Shape is derived from a similar process of opposition, arranging concave-convex configurations, to arrive at basic lines which are translated into surfaces by systematic modification.

The architecture of the new museum distorts inwards to create sheltered space, both public and private in the sense that it will relate as an extension of the new museum, hinting at the collections inside. The formal principles of opposing curves are serially modified to rearrange curves as straight lines, allowing for fluidity within the constraints of traditional geometry.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Ken Bostock

Project Team

Theodora Ntatsopoulou, Marcela Spadaro, Edgar Payan, Goswin Rothenthal, Henning Hansen, Ebru Simsek, Claudia Wulf, Elke Presser