Viking Age Museum

Norway’s cultural flagship

Oslo, Norway
13,000 m2
Winning proposal in open international competition in 2016
In progress
AF Gruppen
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With the world's most valuable collection from the Viking Age, including the world’s oldest and best-preserved Viking ships, the Viking Age Museum in Oslo has been hailed as one of the world’s most important museums. It contains Norway’s most important contribution to our world’s cultural heritage, and with the coming expansion and remodeling of the museum, it will be further elevated from a national museum to a leading international knowledge centre for the dissemination of knowledge about the Viking Age.

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The proposal provides an excellent solution to a complicated challenge. All with a focus on preserving our unique, highly popular Viking collection, which is one of the most important cultural monuments in the world.
Harald Nikolaisen / CEO at Statsbygg

Drawing a circle around history

The expansion project fulfils the vision of elevating Norway’s cultural heritage and adding a new dimension to visiting the museum. To achieve that goal, a circle-shaped building, with roof and facade clad in locally extracted Norwegian slade, will be added to the existing museum, designed by Arnstein Arneberg in 1926, thereby uniting the new with the old in a clear, distinctive concept. The existing, cross-shaped building will take a prominent position in the unified building by simultaneously being the beginning and the end of the visit. Drawing a circle around the museum will open it up to its surroundings and create an inner courtyard, while also creating an iconic signature for the museum and thereby providing new opportunities to attract visitors. In fact, the project, once completed, is expected to double the visitor count to over 1 million per year.

An immersive journey into the world of the Vikings

The expansion will give visitors the opportunity to take a journey through the world of the Vikings and to see the Viking ships from a new and broader perspective and several levels, from the open arcade structure to the broad stands that allow visitors to walk down to the level of the ships and view them up close. Together, the arcade and exhibition rooms provide visitors with a multifaceted story about the Viking Age. They make both short and long visits possible, where the visitors can navigate through the world of the Vikings and their many maritime adventures.

A peek behind the scenes

With the extension, the museum will be transformed from a traditional archive museum into an active research museum that through special exhibitions, workshops and interactive elements will surprise and challenge the public with new knowledge, perspectives, and discoveries about the Viking Age. As a fixed part of the exhibition, a so-called insight laboratory with windows will give visitors can experience the archeologists’ work with the historical findings and thus gain a peek behind the scenes of the museum and the management of Norway’s cultural heritage.

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Want to know more?

Mads Nygaard
Group Partner / Architect MAA
+45 26 79 84 86