Snøhetta reveals reinvented Kon-Tiki Museum – due to open in 2025

The Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway is to undergo a redesign and expansion by architects Snøhetta

The Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway, will undergo a redesign and expansion expected to be completed in 2025.

The ambitious works will transform the attraction, which charts the travels of Norwegian adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl.

Located on the forested Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo, the Kon-Tiki Museum is already one of Norway’s most visited museums, with more than 70 per cent of its visitors coming from abroad.

The museum houses a broad range of Heyerdahl’s work, from his first trip to the Pacific Island of Fatu Hiva to his journeys with Kon-Tiki, the Ra, the Ra II and the Tigris. The central focus is on his most famous expedition, Kon-Tiki, during which he looked to prove that people from South America could have reached Polynesia during pre-Columbian times.

The redesign of the museum – by architects Snøhetta – will renew the attraction in line with Heyerdahl’s "adventurous spirit and the explorer’s drive to promote intercultural understanding and tolerance".

The designs will also reflect the explorer's respect for natural resources and his dedication to conservation and healthy marine environments in the world’s oceans.

"The new Kon-Tiki Museum aims to spark this same curiosity and urge to explore, particularly among children," Snøhetta said.

"A large and lush green garden, surrounded by trees to both the east and the west, creates an intimate and contemplative space.

"With its relatively unprogrammed space, the garden is created for exploration, while also being well-suited for larger events and gatherings.

"The centred expansion of museum gently splits the existing building in two, with Kon-Tiki and Ra II on each of the sides.

"The direction boldly follows the original building on its iconic triangular shape. The wooden wedge stretches as a sail with the wind, establishing a connection between the urban front court and the garden oasis. The sail unfolds towards the sky and leads the way forward, symbolising Heyerdahl’s focus on close collaboration between people and nature.

"The museum’s new centrepiece holds a large multi-purpose auditorium at the tip, with spectacular views of the garden and the sky – a place dedicated for young and old alike to learn and discuss the importance of consumption reduction and address the global challenges related to our lack of focus on ocean health."

• In an interview with CLAD Global, in 2017, Snøhetta's founding partner Kjetil Trædal Thorsen explained the founding principles of the practice, which is to "integrate architecture and landscape architecture in a single design process". To read the full interview,

click here.

Snøhetta  Kon-Tiki  Heyerdal  museum 
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