Lillehammer Art Museum

designed by /

Location: Norway / Type: Squares and Plazas / Built: In Process / Unbuilt /
Show on Google Maps / Published on February 5, 2024

In the heart of Lillehammer, the transformation of Stortorget Square subtly pays homage to its historical context while fulfilling contemporary needs. The redesign envisions the square as a vibrant centre for city life, offering ample space for events to unfold and creating an inspiring and playful environment for various activities.

Lillehammer Art Museum, a pivotal point in the city, sees its expansion as a piece of urban development strategically located between Skysstasjonen and Storgata. This location not only makes the museum an attraction for the city, but also positions the city as an attraction for visitors. The desire to develop a new art gallery for temporary exhibitions under Stortorget Square aligns with the intent to foster relationships, meetings, and synergies vital to the city and the museum, setting the stage for the “BERGTATT” project.

To strengthen existing qualities, the transformation project aims to refine the historic path of Torggutua, transforming it into a remarkable walkway that complements the art museum’s curved facade. Kirkegata’s street profile is narrowed to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists, extending the pedestrian surface over Kirkegata and Jernbanegata to include active shop facades, creating a cohesive urban space.

The square’s design takes advantage of its topography, progressively stepping down from the bank building towards Kirkegata, preserving its natural amphitheatre or stage-like expression.

Sustainability and circularity are integral considerations, with up to 90% of existing stone pavements recycled for the future square. New paving stones enhance universal access, creating a more inclusive urban space.

Beyond pure aesthetics, the redesign strengthens the relationship between the museum and the city with crystal-shaped skylights breaking through the square forming a visual connection between the square and the underlying museum areas. Like river stones, these crystals follow Torggutua, providing human-scale landscape elements for exploration, seating, climbing, and play.

To enhance the square as an attractive gathering place varied surface treatments and stone sizes create an elegant and expressive urban space. Pavement lines shift directions at the meeting point of the square and Torggutua emphasizing the interaction with nature and the transition to the museum’s entrance.

The stones, shaped for human dimensions, serve as urban recreational surfaces for standing, sitting, lying down, resting, and playing. Reinforcing Torggutua as a green connection allows for the reduction of level differences, improving overall accessibility. Increased planted areas and trees enhance rainwater management and contribute to nature based, urban ecological processes.

Rainwater, embraced as an aesthetic experience, is collected and reused for water mist, creating a mysterious atmosphere around the stones and serving as an irrigation system when needed. The river rocks, where rainwater collects, reflect the sky, inviting playful engagement.

In its entirety, the revitalized Stortorget Square becomes a harmonious blend of historic charm, contemporary functionality, and sustainable urban living.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: MASU Planning

Other companies involved in the project:
MDH Arkitekter
• Urban specialist Halvor Weider Ellefsen

Client: The Foundation Lillehammer Museum

Project Location: Lillehammer, Norway

Year completed: Competition won in 2022, and status ongoing and completed in 2027 for Lillehammers 200th anniversary

Photo credits: MASU Planning (drawings), JKMM and MIR (visualizations)

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