Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer

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Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer

The Norwegian architects Snøhetta has done it again! This time the celebrated architects have created a holistic expression for both the Lillehammer Museum of Art and the adjacent cinema.

The Lillehammer Art Museum and Lillehammer Cinema were first established in an Erling Viksjø-designed building in 1964, which is considered today a definite representation of the architectural style of its time. In 1994, Snøhetta completed an extension to the Museum with the construction of an independent building that sought to bridge the architectural language of the original 1960s buildings and contemporary formal expression and to provide further gallery space dedicated to the works of local artist Jakob Weidemann (1923-2001).

Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer
Lillehammer Kino by Snøhetta
Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer
Norwegian painter Jacob Weidemann

Last year they extended the buildings with a sculptural polished stainless-steel facade designed by the late Norwegian artist Bård Breivik (1948-2016) cantilevering from the roof of a glazed volume hosting a children’s workshop.  The steel-façade is conceptually rooted in the sculptural idea of a shooting star, a dramatic symbol of the importance of Weidemann’s contribution to Norwegian painting.

With the addition to the Museum of the new exhibition hall, Weidemannsalen, this second Snøhetta-designed

 

 

expansion connects the two existing institutions. The expansion also includes two theaters and an interior renovation to the Lillehammer Cinema.

Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer
Lillehammer Art Museum and Cinema expansion

The integration of art, architecture, and landscape is an important feature in both Snøhetta and Erling Viksjø’s work. When Snøhetta designed the museum expansion in 1994, the spaces in between the buildings were transformed into an art garden in the firm’s first collaboration with artist Bård Breivik. For the recent expansion, it has been important to again enhance these connecting spaces, bringing the three volumes together in one complete project.

Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer
Lillehammer Art Museum interior

The key concept for the last expansion came from the idea of art hovering above a transparent base and to bring back the foyer as an extension of the plaza in front of the Cinema, creating a stronger connection between the city and the foyer, as Viksjø originally had imagined it. With this, Odd Tandbergs wall art in the foyer is again part of the city. The striking metallic wrapping reflects the surrounding context and changes its appearance with the light.

The expansion of the Lillehammer Art Museum and Lillehammer Cinema was completed throughout spring 2016, with the Museum being completed in January, the Cinema in March, and the return of the art garden being completed in May.

Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer
The art garden. Photo by Hilde Fauskerud

The Lillehammer Cinema added two new auditoriums and renovated its existing circulation space. One auditorium is integrated in the existing building structure, and the second is located below the art garden, between the two existing buildings.

“The integration of art, architecture, and landscape is an important feature in both Snøhetta and Erling Viksjø’s work,” said the studio. “For the recent expansion, it has been important to again enhance these connecting spaces, bringing the three volumes together in one complete project.”

Exciting Modern Architecture in Lillehammer, written by Tor Kjolberg

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