Sverre Fehn - Norway
Norsk Bremuseum (Norwegian Glacier Museum) Fjærland
1989 - 1991


The Norsk Bremuseum (Norwegian Glacier Museum in English), designed by Sverre Fehn, is located at the scenic Jostedalsbreen National Park in a lea along the Fjaerlandsfjord at the foot of the glaciers. The purpose of the museum is to collect, create and disseminate knowledge about glaciers and the climate, and at the same time provides information about the Jostedalsbreen galcier and the National Park of the same name. The building appears as a rough angular bunker made of site-cast exposed concrete, recalling the stones and mountains carved by the glaciers. With its bulky volume, the building strongly contrasts with the soft landscape surrounding it. The heavy concrete envelope of the museum is pierced with small portholes and strips of glazings. Only one large opening is sealed with angled glass panes which rise into the air like gaping cavities in the hillside. This glazed area allows for magnificent views for the visitors of the cafe and restaurant area. Access to the building is made by a long entrance canopy, extending in a strait line and apruptly shifted upwards as it meets the concrete mass of the building, acting as a visual interpretation of a glacier sliding down a mountain. This expressive canopy with its extraordinary length is considered to be an interpretation of the long durations for these natural landscapes to be formed. On either side of the entrance is a stairway leading up to a public roof-top terrace, allowing for a general survey of the surroundings, as if one had climbed a rock. The entrance itself, located between the two stairs, is conceived as a cave-like portal, interpreted as an access into the underside of a glacier. In the interior, the ceiling and the skylights appear very topological, exposing forms as if they were shapes between the underside of a glacier and the rock. An important feature of the space is the long central skylight. Construction of the building was completed in 1991, later Sverre Fehn conceived an addition to the museum, containing the Ulltveit-Moe Climate Centre, which could be opened in 2002.