Nested within the unique natural settings of Fetsund and the Northern Island Natural Reserve, our proposal for the new National Log Driving Museum and Wetlands Competence Centre makes a respectful reverence to the surrounding wetlands, the local ecosystem, and the larger cultural landscape of the region.
Emerging from the wooded landscape, the distinct building’s silhouette is at once highly legible, but also abstract and intriguing. Similar to a biblical arc floating in the water, the building takes on a completely novel –yet undeniably familiar– architectural language, evoking images of the vernacular architecture endemic to these Nordic latitudes, and the centuries-old shipbuilding tradition that has defined Norwegian culture. Owing to its materiality, the building seamlessly blends with its surrounding context.
Hovering above the wetland, the building takes on an almost ethereal quality. Its predominant form– an extrusion of two orthogonal volumes in plan– immediately harkens back to the iconography of a Nordic cross. This robust volumetry stands in careful contrast with the articulated finesse of its structure and facade: a system of self-supporting wood members that interlock with each other, and give way to a wooden rainscreen that shields the exhibitions within. Both in plan and in section, the building celebrates the layering of materials, spaces, and visual experiences– articulating a carefully choreographed sequence that takes visitors from the dense woodland to the banks of the Glomma river.


Client: MIA
Use: Museum and Research Centre
Budget: 260,000,000 Euro
Structure: Glulam timber
Status: International Design Competition