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National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design

Location: Oslo, Norway
Client: International competion
Project Team:  8 inc
Mark Little - Principal
DooHo Lee - Principal
David Herman - Senior Designer
Scott Smardo - Senior Designer


The concept for the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo is guided by Norway’s unique geological and seasonal conditions. The dramatic Fjordscape, where sea carves through ancient bedrock, and the Northern daylight, abundant in summer and precious in winter are the most powerful influences. The design uses larvikite, a stone indigenous to Norway. This black monzonite stone is filled with silver and blue/green flecks, and its appearance reflects the subtle changes in sunlight and temperature.

The overall form of the building is a monolithic mass – a large stone – cut along its east / west axis. The resulting ravine fills with direct sunlight in summer months and low angle sunlight in winter. It also becomes the central organizing element, informing program distribution, circulation strategies, daylight distribution, and most importantly the overall sensory experience for both visitor and museum staff.

The Oslo National Museum of Art concept was shortlisted at the 2010 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

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