The project officially kicked-off with a group meeting of UTK students, UiO students, all affiliated faculty, and National Museum staff in the auditorium in the National Gallery. This was the first time all of the teams were given a chance to meet one another in person.
The presentation began with a warm welcome from Audun Eckhoff, Director of the National Museum. He shared his vision for the new National Museum being constructed on the harbor front and encouraged the students to work towards a vision that channeled curiosity and innovation. Anne Qvale, Special Advisor for the National Museum who has arranged all of the student activities shared statistical data on museum findings and Sarah Lowe presented on the purpose of a design brief.
Palmyre Pierroux and Per Bakke, National Museum Deputy of Touring Exhibitions, led the students in selecting their activities from the proverbial hat. With this information in hand, student groups were set to begin work towards the development of the brief.
Following the presentation, Anne led the group over to the offices of the National Museum to view the scale model of the new building that is under construction. This new building that will contain 140,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, is slated to open in 2020. In preparation many of the current exhibition buildings are slowly closing down floors and wings and packaging up their exhibitions.
In the video below, architect Klaus Schuwerk presents his ideas behind the design of the new museum. (video produced by Nasjonalmuseet)
From there we went to tour the current visitors center that tells the story of the new museum. The center is typically open only on Saturdays, however Per Bakke graciously opened it up for the students to experience while all was fresh on their minds. Upon walking into the center everyone was taken by the beautifully whimsical illustrations throughout the center by Mari Kanstad Johnson. There seemed to be a story carried throughout regarding works of art coming alive, however each vignette provided a story within itself. I twas wonderful to see such playfulness in the context of a vision for a fine arts museum.
But before we left the museum, we all gathered to wish our fearless leader back home some good wishes via some custom hand-lettering.
And of course then there was this …