The commission was to build a new home for the permanent collection, a separate space for the temporary exhibitions and a office building. This one has his own exhibition area for a private art collection. The visiting tour starts outside. The landscaping of the surroundings is an integral part of the project. The promenade along the waterfront links the harbour quay to the city centre. The new public space is an organic game of canals, bridges and lawns, where a cafe, a beach for swimming and the sculpture park are all designed to attract diffent range of visitors. In this "little city" visitors can be in contact with nature, take a swim, enjoy urban life, while contemplating art. Once inside a tour of the permanent collection of the Astrup Fearnley Museum takes the visitor on a journey through ten rooms, in a big double-height space, where natural light is filtered from a glass roof. An exterior roof terrace at second floor level provides a generous exhibition space for scolpture.
Three timber-clad buildings are integrated in the landscape. The design of the huge glass roof that soars over the complex strongly identifies the project, linking the buildings together. Its curved shape, formed by laminated wood beams, crosses the canal between the buildings. Slender steel columns, reinforced with cable rigging, are repeating the sequence of the masts of the sailboats in harbor, referring to the maritime character of the site.
The roof almost touches the ground. A small pond prevents people from climbing n the glass. The glass on the roof has a white ceramic finiture, reducing its transparency by 40%. Low-iron glass has been used on the facades, whenever possible, to enhance transparancy and to minimize the discoloration of the light into the exhibition spaces. The adiacent office building, houses a private art collection. The four-storey building is arranged around a central, day-lit atrium. Conference rooms and terraces on the upper floors take advantage of the spectacular views.