Twisting Art Gallery Bridge

  • October 19th, 2019

There’s a new spectacular twist to the evolving design history of a Norwegian sculpture park – a bridge.

Traversing the Randselva river in southern Norway sits a contemporary art institution that doubles as infrastructure, intelligently designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Architects.

Dubbed ‘The Twist’, the spectacular structure, torqued at its center, is designed to reconcile the different heights of the riverbanks, and in turn creates a unique and impressive sculptural aesthetic. Bjarke Ingels, BIG’s founding partner, said: “The Twist…is a sculpture, a building, a path in the landscape, and a bridge – all in one.”

Visitors can wander through the bridge’s shifting volumes, peering out at the forested landscape and the otherwise unattainable vistas of the river, through a full-width glass wall that twists upwards as one moves from the northern bank to the south. The panel wall linings arranged like a stack of books, fanning out to create a mesmerizing spiraling effect. The experience, as Ingels comments, is “as though walking through a camera shutter”.

“Wherever you look, you see arches and curves, Fibonacci spirals and saddle shapes, but when you look closer you realize that everything is created from straight lines—straight sheets of aluminium, straight boards of wood. It’s an expressive organic sculpture composed of rational repetitive elements,” adds Ingels.

The structure itself is an impressive hovering sculpture befitting of the international renowned sculpture park.

Visitors roaming the park’s site-specific sculptural works by international artists such as Anish Kappor, Olafur Eliasson, Lynda Benglis and Yayoi Kusama, among others, cross the bridge to complete the art tour loop. As a second bridge and natural extension to the park, the new gallery transforms the visitor experience while offering increased indoor gallery space that will allow greater flexibility in the park’s artistic programming.

Client Christen Sveaas, grandson of the site’s paper pulp mill founded in 1889, described the building as “a very simple and beautiful design, while technically immensely complex to build.” He goes on to say, “The new museum building will allow us to put on larger exhibitions of the highest international level. Our ambition is for Kistefos Sculpture Park to become a major European art and culture destination. With the continuous expansion of the sculpture park, bigger and better exhibitions, and the uniqueness of the place, we hope it will become a must-see.”

If you find yourself in Europe, add it to the list of must-sees.