Norway – BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has inaugurated The Twist Museum completing the cultural route through northern Europe’s largest sculpture park. Built around a historical pulp mill, gallery space was conceived as a beam warped 90 degrees near the middle to create a sculptural form as it spans the Randselva river.
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“The Twist is a hybrid spanning several traditional categories: it’s a museum, it’s a bridge, it’s an inhabitable sculpture.” Says Bjarke Ingels, BIG’s Founding Partner & Creative Director.
“As a bridge it reconfigures the sculpture park turning the journey through the park into a continuous loop. As a museum it connects two distinct spaces – an introverted vertical gallery and an extraverted horizontal gallery with panoramic views across the river. A third space is created through the blatant translation between these two galleries creating the namesake twist.”
That simple twist in the building’s volume allows the bridge to lift from the lower, forested riverbank in the south up to the hillside area in the north. As a continuous path in the landscape, both sides of the building serve as the main entrance. From the south entry, visitors cross a 16m aluminum-clad steel bridge to reach the double-height space with a clear view to the north end, similarly linked with a 9m pedestrian bridge.
The double-curve geometry of the museum is comprised of straight 40cm wide aluminum panels arranged like a stack of books, shifted ever so slightly in a fanning motion. The same principle is used inside with white painted 8cm wide fir slats cladding the floor, wall and ceiling as one uniform backdrop for Kistefos’ short-term Norwegian and international exhibitions. From either direction, visitors experience the twisted gallery as though walking through a camera shutter.
Due to the curved form of the glass windows, the variety of daylight entering the museum creates three distinctive galleries: a wide, naturally lit gallery with panoramic views on the north side; a tall, dark gallery with artificial lighting on the south side; and, in between, a sculptural space with a twisted sliver of roof light. The ability to compartmentalize, divide or merge the gallery spaces create flexibility for Kistefos’ artistic programming.
“The Twist constitutes a tectonic enigma. 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.” Bjarke Ingels.
The Twist Museum has been developed in collaboration with Element Arkitekter, AKT II, Rambøll, Bladt Industries, Max Fordham and Davis Langdon.
All photos: courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group.