Old Bergen Museum

A new visitor centre for the Old Bergen Museum

Bergen, Norway
Bymuseet i Bergen
1,700 m2
Winning proposal in prequalified project competition in 2017
In progress
Landscape architect
Gamle Bergen Museum AART architects web 01

The new visitor centre welcomes visitors to the Old Bergen Museum (in Norwegian 'Gamle Bergen Museum') and adds new layers to the story of one of Norway’s biggest open-air museums where visitors can explore Bergen’s historical heritage.

Provides an interpretation of Bergen’s historical urban environment

In the 1800s, Bergen was the biggest wooden town in Europe, with wooden houses framing the busy squares and streets. This historical urban environment can be experienced at the Old Bergen Museum, and the new visitor centre will further aid in the telling of its story. Comprised of three connected but staggered saddle roof wooden structures, the new visitor centre provides an interpretation of the historical urban environment so that respect for the city’s cultural heritage goes hand-in-hand with a modern museum experience.

Gamle Bergen Museum AART architects web 07

Drawing history into the building

The visitor centre not only draws inspiration from the old wooden houses in terms of its design. It also draws the historical urban environment into the lobby and frames the view of the open-air museum, making it a building that projects history outwards and inwards at the same time. It links up the outside and the inside while also creating an internal, spatial context further supported by a centrally placed amfi-stairs that serve as a perfect place to sit while opening up the exhibition rooms across each floor. The overarching focus is to give visitors a taste of the experience in store for them.

Gamle Bergen Museum AART architects web 08
The winning proposal is of high quality and has a timeless expression that fits the other buildings in the museum. In this way, we will strengthen the story about the museum, gain a larger perspective about the city’s history, and revitalise the local community.
Marianne L. Nielsen / CEO Old Bergen Museum

Want to know more?

Susanne Joys
Partner / Manager of Norway Office / Architect MNAL
+47 91 71 58 06