The construction of Oslo's new National Museum has begun, and the museum is currently the largest cultural building that is being built in Europe.
"We hope that it will have the same effect as the opera did. It is meant to become a museum that people can feel proud of identify with, even if they are not part of the so-called "cultural elite," says Audun Eckhoff, director of the National Museum.
The new museum will fill the lot of an entire block, and is located at the property of the former Vestbanen station, just next to the Nobel Peace Prize Center. When complete, it will be Oslo's largest signature building, and also rank as one of the largest museums in Europe at 54 000 square meters.
"The house is surprisingly humble to be so big. It will be visible, but subdued and in harmony with the environment," Eckhoff explains.
However, the museum will need its square footage, as it will have to make room for three art significant art collections: The National Gallery, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
An advantage of the new building will also be to experiment with new ways of displaying art, including digital tools.
"The original works are the heart of every museum. Digital tools will not interrupt those who wish to have the pure, contemplative experience of art. However, we have an opportunity now to seize the options available to us. We do not want several technical gadgets that interrupt the experience, but stimulate the audience to experience the art in new ways," Eckhoff tells Aftenposten.
The building will be completed in 2019.