Østengen & Bergo was commissioned as landscape architects for the new National Museum at Vestbanen, Oslo, throughout all aspects of the project. The project builds upon Kleihues & Schuwerk’s winning proposal for the design competition.
The primary focus of the project was to create open and accessible public spaces that seamlessly integrated with the surrounding environment, while also accounting for logistical and security considerations. This led to a versatile and intimate courtyard nestled between the new museum and the old Vestbane building.
The courtyard serves as a meeting point where architectural styles converge. A paving was designed to unify the buildings, and to stand as a unique and distinctive feature of its own right. The square presents itself as an urban space around a large courtyard tree, with a simple, flexible floor that can accommodate gatherings, permanent or temporary artworks, café chairs, and queues. The facades of the museum are enriched with Virginia creeper. The charm of the ivy plants contrasted with the linear stone walls, becoming a visually striking element within the landscape. Leading up to Dronning Mauds street, steps with seating facilities have been constructed, serving as spot for visitors to look over the courtyard.
The construction of the museum involved arranging complex underground systems as it is built on top of an existing cellar. By managing water and providing sufficient soil depths underground, the courtyard has achieved a simplistic appearance, in line with the vision for the project. Universal accessibility was thoughtfully woven into the overall design, ensuring a cohesive experience for all visitors.
Given the complexity of the project, the project was executed in close collaboration with architects, technical consultants, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the public transport authority Ruter, the City Environment Agency, contractors, and the National Heritage Authorities.
Landscape Architecture: Østengen & Bergo AS
Client: Statsbygg / Norwegian government’s building commissioner
Architect: Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten
Contractor: Skaaret AS
Project location: Oslo, Norway
Year completed: 2022
Photo credits: © AKB Lightning, © Østengen & Bergo,© Rolf Estensen