The Kistefos museum in Jevnaker, north of Oslo, is famous for its historical industrial park, contemporary art exhibitions, and its sculpture park. The museum itself was inaugurated in 1996 by the entrepreneur and art collector Christen Sveeas. 46 artworks by a host of Norwegian and international artists such as Yayoi Kusuma, Jeppe Hein, Tony Cragg and Anish Kapoor are displayed around the remnants of a pulp mill built in 1889.
With the new museum building “The Twist”, Bjarke Ingels from the multi-award-winning Danish architecture studio BIG installed an elegant, architecturally outstanding enhancement to the sculpture park: a 246 feet-long building that forges an ingenious link between the banks of the river Randselva. The bridge structure is called “The Twist” because it incorporates a 90-degree turn near the center. The curved geometry of the museum is made up of 15 3/4"-wide aluminum panels that fan out and wind themselves around the building.
Inside visitors are welcomed by two contrasting exhibition spaces. The first room, with a horizontal orientation, affords a view of the park, the river and the old building. The gallery area, with a vertical orientation, is reminiscent of a white cube with artificial light. They are linked by the Twisted Gallery – a spatial structure in which the wall appears to become the ceiling, and the ceiling becomes the wall and indeed the floor. This effect is enhanced by slats made from whitewashed pine on all surfaces.
The toilets in the basement are well worth a visit – not only to see the videos by Tony Oursler projected on to the walls, but also because the idea of twisted optics is logically extended here. In this extraordinary setting, the iconic ME by Starck floorstanding toilets, created by Duravit and designer Philippe Starck, give the impression of being exhibits in the museum.