New Viking Age Historical Museum To Open In Oslo, Norway

In September 2015, the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen announced an international architectural competition for the new Viking Age Museum that is scheduled to be constructed on the Bygdøy peninsula in Norway’s capital city Oslo. The competition ran from September 2015 until December 2015.

On 12 April 2016, the winner of the international architectural competition for the new Viking Age museum in Oslo was revealed to be the Danish firm AART, based in Aarhus, Denmark. AART Architects won the competition with their proposal ‘NAUST’, an aesthetic modern circular building.

The Museum of Cultural History, which is part of the University of Oslo, preserves one of the largest and richest archaeological collections of artefacts dating back to the Viking Age. The Museum of Cultural History in Oslo houses two of the best preserved Viking Age longships, the Oseberg (from Sandefjord municipality) and Gokstad (from Tønsberg muncipality) ships. The museum also hosts the Tune ship.

In addition to the aforementioned highly reputed attractions, the museum also preserves the only near-intact Viking Age helmet found to date, which was excavated on the site of the Gjermundbu farm in the little village of Haugsbygd, Ringerike municipality, Buskerud county, as well as an important gold treasure from the site of the Hoen farm, found in the proximity of the Drammenselva river, Buskerud county.

The goal of this new architectural project is to find the best balance between the preservation of the archaeological collections that have been exhibited thus far at the Museum of Cultural History and the aesthetic modality in which they are to be presented before the public. Regarding the architectural approach, the most interesting and challenging task would be to combine old and new concepts and technologies so as to match the need for future generations’ access to the culture and history of the Viking Age.

Plan of the new extension of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, Norway by AART architects. Image source: www.pinterest.com

Plan of the new extension of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, Norway by AART architects. Image source: www.pinterest.com

The main building of the Museum of Cultural History from 1926, alongside the new building which is scheduled to be constructed on the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo as early as 2020, will have a larger size (reported as 13,000 square miles) after the end of the project, as such making it thrice as bigger as it has previously been.

According to Statsbygg (The Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property), the total price for the construction of the new circular building remains unknown to date.

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