BIG's twisting museum bridges a river in Norway
High-profile firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) recently completed a stunning new project in Norway. Aptly-named The Twist, it consists of a museum and bridge that twists 90 degrees near its center.
The Twist is located in the Kistefos Sculpture Park in Jevnaker, outside Oslo. The idea is that visitors meander through works by famous artists like Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Lynda Benglis Yayoi and Fernando Botero, among others, then cross The Twist to complete their art tour.
The building's twisting form connects the lower forested riverbank in the south to the higher hillside bank in the north and its exterior consists of aluminum panels that are likened to a stack of books fanning out by the firm.
"The Twist constitutes a tectonic enigma," says BIG's Bjarke Ingels. "As the bridge connects the two riverbanks – a mountain slope and flat forest – it rotates 90 degrees forming a warped, ruled surface. Two pure functional forms united by complex curvature. Wherever you look, you see arches and curves, Fibonacci spirals and saddle shapes, but when you look closer you realize that everything is created from straight lines – straight sheets of aluminum, straight boards of wood. An expressive organic sculpture composed of rational repetitive elements."
The large 1,000 sq m (around 10,700 sq ft) interior is similarly impressive and continues the twisting form. A full-height glass wall offers panoramic views of a nearby pulp mill and the river below.
There are three galleries inside The Twist: a wide, naturally lit gallery with panoramic views, a tall, dark gallery, that's artificially lit, and a sculptural space illuminated by a thin skylight. Elsewhere, a glass stairway leads to the museum’s downstairs area on the north river embankment, and the building’s aluminum underside serves as a ceiling for the basement and bathroom area.
"The Twist has been an extremely complex building to construct, yet the result is simple and striking," adds BIG's David Zahle. "From an array of straight elements, the museum was constructed in an industrial manner as both a piece of infrastructure and as a building reflecting its natural surroundings. As you approach The Twist, you start to notice the museum reflecting the trees, the hills and the water below, constantly glimmering and changing its appearance in dialogue with nature."
The project also involved Element Arkitekter, AKT II, Rambøll, Bladt Industries, Max Fordham and Davis Langdon.