October 16, 2015



The new Kistefos Museum is located in the scenic Kistefos Sculpture Park established in late 90s – today home to works by internationally renowned contemporary artists including Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Fernando Bottero and Elmgreen & Dragset. The museum site is situated by the river Randselva in Jevnaker, just an hour north of Oslo. Built around a historical paper mill, the sculpture park occupies both embankments of the river, with an old bridge serving as the only crossing.
BIG’s proposal is conceived as a simple beam that spans the Randselva to connect the two edges of the site, becoming a second bridge for the Sculpture Park. A simple twist in the building’s volume allows the bridge to lift from the lower forested area towards the south, up to the hillside area in the north. This creates a series of interconnected spaces: a vertical stack of galleries for media, paintings, and sculpture to the south – and a horizontal, open gallery, ideal for sculptures and large installations to the north.
The warped geometry of the building volume merges the vertical and horizontal in a single motion, forming a fanning staircase inside. The staircase doubles as an informal seating area, as well as an ideal space for video projections, performance art, and other such events. The skylight of the gallery morphs from being vertical along the east façade to horizontal at the top of the southern end of the building, creating the combination of a sky-lit gallery, a side-lit gallery and a dark gallery.
Visitors enter the museum through a triple height space at the southern end of the building, where the information center, museum shop, and other facilities are located. From here, guests will have a clear view through the space to the other end of the museum, where a cafe will let guests enjoy snacks while taking in views of the historical pulp mill and surrounding landscape. In the summertime, the cafe service area spills onto the plateau just outside.
The façade is kept in refined, precisely articulated materials. The non-glazed portion is constructed of brushed stainless steel, while the glazing consists of large insulated glass panels with a reflective UV film to keep out all art-damaging light and 75% of the solar gain. Electrical solar shading will be integrated in the façade’s framing system to offer both translucent shading and complete darkness. Providing access to indirect daylight as well as light-sealed, artificially lit environments, different media and events (such as video installations, museum-wide shows and performances) are accommodated in the design.
“We were instantly fascinated by the dramatic landscape of Kistefos – the winding river, forested riverbanks and the steep topography. Our proposal for a new Art Museum in Kistefos acts like a second bridge in the Sculpture Park, forming a continuous loop across both riverbanks. The museum visit itself will be a bridge, not a goal – and the exhibits inside an interior extension of the promenade through the Sculpture Park. With the inhabited bridge, we stumbled upon our first experiment with social infrastructure – a building that serves as a bridge – or a cultural institution that serves as a piece of infrastructure.” Founding Partner, Bjarke Ingels.
You may visit Bjarke Ingels’s projects of Lego Visiter Centre and Phoenix Observation Tower in my blog to click below links.


How can one building organize a sculpture park on a challenging landscape?
The Kistefos property is three landscapes that overlap and intertwine. There is a natural landscape of rivers, waterfalls, islands, canyons and forests; an industrial landscape of mills, factories, warehouses, power plants, dams and bridges; and finally a sculptural landscape of abstract objects in the dramatic topography of rocks, flora and water. BIG approached the design for a new museum as an opportunity to create a master-plan for these three landscapes, organizing the entire 270.000m2 sculpture park as an outdoor museum.
Rather than building on the proposed site close to the old mill, BIG moved the location for the new museum down the river in order to preserve the mill’s historical setting. On this site we proposed a raw and simple form that would respond to the challenges of the landscape: a building, sculpture, and bridge – all in one. The bridge connects the property to create a series of landscape galleries. The continuous path that is formed will enable access to each of the different outdoor galleries and provide new and otherwise unattainable vistas of the riverbank and the historic mill.

Information Driven Design
BIG’s design process always starts by identifying the key criteria of a project: What is the biggest problem – what is the greatest potential? Rather than arbitrary aesthetic or stylistic prejudice, all decisions are based on project specific information - Information Driven Design. 
Our effort as architects is sandwiched in the window of opportunity between analysis and implementation. And our influence happens in the translation from information to material. In an attempt to increase our sphere of influence on our built environment, we have established Big Ideas. 
Big Ideas is an internal technology driven special projects unit, expanding the traditional scope of the architect into the realm of information and material. BIG IDEAS explores new intellectual territory in both the digital and material realm through three specific areas. 
As daylight analysis directly influences the building geometry and as studies of thermal exposure, conditions the building envelope, we are increasingly relying on technical simulations that would traditionally be part of the engineering scope. To speed up the feedback loop between design and analysis, between trial and error, we have internalized the environmental analysis into our own office. Daylight, sunshine, thermal exposure, airflow, turbulence, wind, space syntax and traffic flow are technical simulations we now control to enable ourselves to make designs that are literally shaped by the forces that surround them. We still collaborate with the best technical experts to tap into the cutting edge at the horizon of the profession, but we have found it necessary to educate ourselves to wield the digital tools of design. Not just building information management or digitally aided design but also environmental simulation must become part of our architectural tool kit. 
Our line of investigations from the Shenzhen Energy Headquarters to the Hanwha PV Plant to the Cité du Corps Humain, has provided us with a parametric design engine that allows us to tailor building envelopes and façade geometries to respond to different climate conditions across the globe. Our expanded parametric design tools are helping us start to formulate a vernacular architecture 2.0 through engineering without engines.
On the other end of the spectrum where the design intelligence gets manifested into the material world, we have increasingly encountered that our imagination was limited to what was already on the shelves. Through our collaboration as part of KiBiSi – our design partnership with Kilo Design and Skibsted Ideation – we have explored personal technology, urban mobility and furniture. With Big Ideas we feel we can close the gap and really make our interest in product design a literal extension of our efforts in architecture. 
Rather than accepting the inhibitions from the architectural scope starting too late and leaving too early – missing out on both research and production – with Big Ideas were are starting a new journey to explore new intellectual territory in both the digital and material realm.
In collaboration with Danish Technical University and Raket Madsen Big Ideas resurrected the idea of the giant smoke rings for the Copenhagen Power plant. 


BIG is a Copenhagen and New York based group of architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research and development. The office is currently involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. Not least due to the influence from multicultural exchange, global economical flows and communication technologies that all together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. We believe that in order to deal with today’s challenges, architecture can profitably move into a field that has been largely unexplored. A pragmatic utopian architecture that steers clear of the petrifying pragmatism of boring boxes and the naïve utopian ideas of digital formalism.
In our projects we test the effects of size and the balance of programmatic mixtures on the triple bottom line of the social, economic and ecological outcome. Like a form of programmatic alchemy we create architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such as living, leisure, working, parking and shopping. By hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, we architects once again find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms. In all our actions we try to move the focus from the small details to the BIG picture.

BIG is led by partners – Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Finn Nørkjær,
David Zahle, Jakob Lange, Thomas Christoffersen and Managing Partners, 
Sheela Maini Søgaard and Kai-Uwe Bergmann.

Bjarke Ingels started BIG Bjarke Ingels Group in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Bjarke has developed a reputation for designing buildings that are as programmatically and technically innovative as they are cost and resource conscious. Bjarke has received numerous awards and honors, including the Danish Crown Prince’s Culture Prize in 2011, the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2004, and the ULI Award for Excellence in 2009. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal awarded Bjarke the Architectural Innovator of the Year Award. In 2012, the American Institute of Architects granted the 8 House its Honor Award, calling it “a complex and exemplary project of a new typology.”
Alongside his architectural practice, Bjarke taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, and Rice University and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. He is a frequent public speaker and has spoken in venues such as TED, WIRED, AMCHAM, 10 Downing Street, and the World Economic Forum.
The Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture I Graduation 1999 I DK
ETSAB I School of Architecture of Barcelona I ES