atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo

 

natural history museum in oslo redesigned by atelier brückner

 

After several years of renovation, Atelier Brückner has finally completed the redesign of the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisk Museum) in Oslo, Norway. Located within the botanical gardens at the heart of the Norwegian capital, the museum hosts the largest geological and anthropological exhibition in the Nordic countries. The architecture firm has come up with a new concept that underpins the permanent exhibition and highlights each collection in a unique, characteristic way. Meanwhile, the intervention puts emphasis on the visual connection to the outdoors, taking advantage of the pre-existing 1920 high windows and flooding the space with natural light. 

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo
level 1: Evolution of Live II

all images by Marcus Sies

 

 

prioritizing easy navigation

 

The Natural History Museum redesign by Atelier Brückner (see more here) accommodates more than 2,300 sqm exhibition space, presenting four-and-a-half billion years of Earth’s history. The visitor can follow different routes spread across the three floors, with six thematically staged gallery rooms, and a stand-alone presentation in the basement. 

 

The coherent guiding system and consistent text hierarchies facilitate orientation within the building. At the same time, the positioning of the exhibits underlines the navigation: huge skeletons and replicas look visitors straight in the eye as they enter the room.

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo
level 1: Evolution of Live II – Evolution of Animals on Land

 

 

evolution of life

 

On level one, visitors can find two galleries, showcasing how planet Earth and life on it have grown together over the years. Perhaps the most iconic features of this floor are a complete Tyrannosaurus-Rex skeleton and an original Triceratops skull. The surrounding display islands present life forms that preceded the dinosaurs by means of fossils, digital aquariums, and reconstructed models.

 

The main narrative of the second gallery is the evolution of mammals, including Ida, the most complete primate fossil ever found. Parallel threads narrate the evolution of animals on land and in the sea. In the last themed area, a 14-meter- skeleton becomes the protagonist of the space. 

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo
level 2: Minerals and Rocks

 

 

minerals and rocks

 

Level two reveals the fascinating world of minerals, sparkling crystals, and stones in the appropriately named ‘Minerals and Rocks’ gallery. On the long sides of the floor, the historical showcases form an ensemble of ten themed bays devoted to the history of the museum. The next gallery called ‘History of an Ocean’ puts its focus on the geological history of the North Sea through to the Barents Sea and thus the beginnings of Norway. The ‘Drill Core Table’, a nine-meter-long table, is the central element of the room, displaying 178 drill core discs with fossils. The airspace above the table is taken over by an artistic ceiling installation that represents the asteroid belt, foreboding the theme of the exhibition on the upper floor. 

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo
level 2: Minerals and Rocks – connected to level 3: Dynamic Earth

 

 

 

stories from space and crystal cave basement

 

On the third level of the museum, a gallery dubbed ‘Stories from Space’ teaches visitors about our solar system, illustrating its size, and showing how the Earth was formed. Meanwhile, a gallery titled’ Dynamic Earth’ on this level encourages guests to find out more about our ever-changing planet. Ten globes in different colors and textures fill the airspace of the space with each of them standing for a process that makes our planet unique. The globes can be viewed through binoculars, while integrated augmented reality (AR) allows visitors to visually experience the processes and phenomena.

 

The circular tour through the three main levels can be rounded off by a visit to the impressively staged ‘Crystal Cave’ in the basement. Visitors enter the walk-in installation via a dark entrance tunnel. In the first area, the ‘Real Cave’, they pass through the sparking crystal cave on a black grate bridge. The cave is a replica made of crystals from the Norwegian potash mine of Brevik. In the adjacent room, the ‘Artificial Cave’, the showcases borrow from the prismatic shapes of their objects. The highlight of the room sequence is the ‘Glowing Cave’, which stages the magical color and form splendor of the exhibited stones using UV light.

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo
level 3: Dynamic Earth – theme: Earth´s core

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo
Crystal Cave

atelier brückner completes renovation of natural history museum in oslo
Crystal Cave

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level 2: Minerals and Rocks – History of an Ocean

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level 1: Evolution of Life I, Tyrannosaurus-Rex (replica), and Triceratops skull

 

project info: 

 

name: Natural History Museum in Oslo
architects: Atelier Brückner
location: Oslo, Norway

ARCHITECTURE IN NORWAY (154)

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES (457)

RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (317)

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