Oslo's new Munchmuseet is finally open. Since October 22, guests have been able to view The Scream and 40,000 works associated with world-renowned Norwegian painter Edvard Munch in a spectacular waterfront location.
It's the world's largest collection devoted to a single artist and one of the most anticipated museum openings of the year. Thirteen years after Oslo's city council decided to build a new museum for Munch's art (moving it from its original home in Tøyen at Oslo's east side) the project finally began welcoming its first guests last Friday.
Designed by Spanish architects Estudio Herreros, the huge museum dwarfs the original space, with 11 galleries spread out over 13 floors. Much of the space is dedicated to the life and art of Edvard Munch with some pieces coming into the spotlight for the first time. There are also works by other Modernist and contemporary artists on display.
Spanish architect studio Estudio Herreros won the contract to design the new Munch museum back in 2009, and after some uncertainty on both design and location, construction eventually got underway in 2016. The museum sits on Bjørvika bay—a trendy new waterfront district in Oslo—and is five times larger than the original museum in Tøyen.
"Greeting people both day and night, Munch is a new reference point in Oslo's skyline that gives locals and visitors an overview and orientation within the city, the surrounding mountains and the Oslo fjord," notes architect Juan Herreros.
The new museum is part of the FutureBuilt collaboration, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the construction and operation of new buildings in design-forward Oslo. Designers say Munchmuseet is made from environmentally-friendly steel and concrete, and its façade is made of a translucent aluminium, which appears to shimmer against the water when you approach the museum from the waterfront.
It's not just about art and design, the museum is also positioning itself as a great place to hang out in Oslo. Inside there's a rooftop bar, cafe and restaurant with views overlooking the city and fjord. There will also be rotating exhibitions and concerts to look forward to. "We will change exhibitions regularly, and we will have a comprehensive event program, with concerts, lectures, artist talks, curator talks and the like, said museum director Stein Olav Henrichsen.
Now that borders have opened again, travelers have a ton of good stuff to look forward to in Norway. Munchmuseet is just one of the many new cultural attractions launching in Oslo and it's part of the reason why Norway was selected as one of next year's top countries to visit (in second place) for Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022. The museum sits just a few minutes walk from the new Deichman library which opened last summer, and it's close to highly-anticipated new National Museum in Rådhusplassen. Set to open in 2022, the National Museum will be the largest cultural center in the Nordic countries.
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