It’s called The Twist. Toeing the line between architecture and art, Bjarke Ingels Group‘s addition to the Kistefos Museum traverses the Randselva River – some 60 kilometres north of Oslo – and completes the gallery’s outdoor sculpture park circuit.
Built on the site of a historic pulp mill, The Twist spans the river in a spiral of aluminum panels. It’s a dramatic effect, and a clever response to its context. While the Randselva’s southern bank is relatively low-lying, the opposite side is hillier terrain. BIG’s bridge negotiates the changing topography in a 90-degree turn; the more vertical south volume contorts into an elevated, more horizontal, shape on the northern bank.
The result is a fluid, sinuous form. Fanning out from a rectangle, the bridge’s thin aluminum panels gradually shift above the river. The cladding emphasizes a sense of aesthetic unity and plays up The Twist’s sculptural presence. At the heart of a sculpture circuit that includes work by the likes of Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, and Olafur Eliasson, it fits right in.
The transition seems just as smooth inside. In lieu of aluminum panels, the interior is finished in white-painted Douglas fir slats to create a similar ambiance; through gradual variation, the straight, rectangular pieces underline a kinetic effect.
Approaching from the south, visitors pass through a sort of gun barrel corridor, with a panoramic window emerging as the bridge resolves back into a horizontal shape.
On both river banks, the building incorporates substantial new gallery space. While the south gallery is arranged as a group of enclosed “white cube” rooms, the north side opens out to full-length windows that overlook the landscape. A majestic vista unfolds across the horizon.
For the Kistefos Museum, The Twist also greatly improves circulation through the outdoor sculpture park. Previously, a single bridge across the river meant that any path through the park required doubling back at dead ends. With a second bridge, however, the whole of the park is accessed in a single loop. It’s an immersive journey – with a conspicuous new focal point.
In Norway, the Kistefos Museum and sculpture park welcomes a dramatic new focal point.