Olympic Art Museum
“In connection with the 1994 Winter Olympics, Lillehammer decided to extend its art museum, built in 1963, and designed by Norwegian architect Erling Viksjø (1910-71). The result is a stunning experiment in the possibilities of wood and glass, adding a beautiful, pure organic structure to the existing Minimalist one. The new extension faces a large public square, the city's main gathering space. With its voluminous, rolling, soft larch wood facade, the building appears warm and welcoming, and contrasts with the original museum, which stands out in a rather closed and cold concrete style. The ground floor, with windows facing the square, lifts up and solid timber-clad structure, which covers the entire facade of the first floor. In the new interior, some of the concrete walls have been sloped, creating an exciting space for the art. The two buildings are linked by an enclosed bridge at the first floor level, and a garden filled with sculptures below.
Viksjø's building includes the permanent art collection, mainly of Norwegian landscape paintings. The new museum displays modern and contemporary art, and temporary exhibitions. This categorization of artwork reiterates the different styles of architecture. But when seeing the museum in its entirety, it illustrates that the styles of two different generations of architects can be combined, creating a vibrant and challenging site for the arts.”