Bladt Industries to build prestigious arts building for the Kistefos Museum in Norway


Bladt Industries to build prestigious arts building for the Kistefos Museum in Norway

Bladt Industries has won the turnkey contract for a technically advanced arts building at the Kistefos Museum, which in addition to being an architectural gem, will link the south side and north side of the River Randselva in Jevnaker, outside Oslo. The arts building will also be an extension of the sculpture park and the Kistefos Museum, which is considered to be one of the most important contributors to Norwegian and Scandinavian industrial history. Bjarke Ingels Group has designed the new arts building, which Bladt Industries will build. The building will be completed by 1 July 2019.

The steel structure that forms the frame of the building, covers a 60 m free span across the River Randselva, thus linking the north side and the south side of the river. The whole technically advanced structure weighs 380 tonnes, and Bladt Industries is also constructing a platform under the arts building which will be made of 250 tonnes of steel. The bridge in the sculpture park around Kistefos Museum was designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, and it forms a rectangular closed shape, which is twisted 90 degrees in its span across the river. The twist provides the arts hall with an abutment in the low forested area towards the south on the one side and a raised section over the north side, where the terrain is higher and more undulating. The 1000 m2 building will house three exhibition spaces: a panorama gallery with large windowpanes, which provide abundant natural light, the Twist Gallery in the building’s twist and the Closed Gallery.

- “As the developer, the Kistefos Museum is very satisfied with the collaboration with Bladt Industries. The contractor has the competency that is necessary to build the technically demanding structures, while it also demonstrates an advanced ability and drive to satisfy the project’s especially stringent architectural requirements,” says the Kistefos Museum Director Egil Eide.

- “When we visited Kistefos for the first time, we became immediately fascinated by the dramatic landscape with its undulating river, dense forest and steep mountain slopes. The Kistefos museum is conceived as a bridge in the sculpture park and is an example of what we call social infrastructure – a building that functions as a cultural institution, a sculpture and a piece of infrastructure that creates a link between the two opposite riverbanks in the park,” says Bjarke Ingels of the Bjarke Ingels Group, as he describes the construction over the Norwegian river.

- “Bladt Industries won the turnkey contract, which means it’s also the consultant throughout the entire process. We have extensive experience in technically advanced bridges and infrastructure projects, and even the steel structure in the arts building is also very difficult to execute because of the twist that the arts building has on its path over the river. Together with the free span of 60 m, this makes the challenge very difficult. However, we’re already well on the way to solving it,” says Kim Bringsjord, Senior Vice President at Bladt Industries.   

The Kistefos Museum has played an important role in Norwegian industrial history. A groundwood mill was established at Kistefos in 1889. The mill used mechanical grinding to make wood pulp for paper production. The mill meant that cheap paper could be produced, e.g. for newspapers, which in turn helped to reduce illiteracy and increased the spread of the news in Norway. However, production was stopped in 1955 but the responsible parties agreed to let all of the machinery, inventory and production equipment remain in place for the purpose of restarting production at a later date. But production was never in fact restarted and today the mill is the best-preserved and most intact example of industrialisation in Norway and Scandinavia.

The Kistefos Museum foundation was established in 1996, and the museum officially opened with its first art exhibition in 1999. The Kistefos Museum has one of the largest contemporary sculpture parks in Northern Europe. The sculpture park is updated on an ongoing basis, with works by acclaimed artists such as, Olafur Eliasson, Fernando Botero, Tony Cragg, Shintaro Miyake, Claes Oldenburg / Coosje van Bruggen, John Gerrard, Anish Kapoor and Marc Quinn.         

For more information about the Kistefos Museum and the sculpture park, visit: http://kistefos.museum.no/page/historikk/ and http://kistefos.museum.no/page/om-skulpturparken/.

About Bladt Industries
Bladt Industries is a global supplier of complex steel structures, primarily to the offshore wind energy sector, oil and gas industry and for infrastructure and bridges. To learn more, visit www.bladt.dk