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Lambda at Bjørvika – Architect: – I mean the Munch Museum sucks



When the jury unanimously accepted the construction of the new Munch Museum in Oslo in 2009, they described the Lambda building as a "light tower", which in contrast to the opera should be bright and translucent.

LYSTÅRN: When the jury entered unanimously to build the new Munch Museum, it was described as a light tower. Photo: Studio Hererros
Light: When the jury decided unanimously to build the new Munch Museum, it was described as a light tower. Photo: Studio Hererros
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"The building is elegant and emblematic in its simplicity and will become a tower of light on the fjord that introduces a wonderful place to enjoy the unique landscape of Oslo," said the jury's statement, according to architectural news.

But now, as the building has been listed, not everyone agrees with that description.

Architect Gaute Brochmann, publisher of the magazine Arkitektur N and writer of urban development in Morgenbladet, is skeptical of how the Munch Museum and the parts of Bjørvika can be seen.

– When I come from Kvadraturen, the Munch Museum looks like a threatening black shadow, a gray coal-fired plant that leans over the Opera, says Brochmann to Dagbladet.

COOKING GRAY: Architect Brochmann thinks Lambda is a gray coal block. Photo: NTB scanpix
THANKS OF COCCIÓN: Architect Brochmann believes that Lambda is a gray block of carbon. Photo: NTB scanpix
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– The Munch Museum sucks

The architect and editor were basically positive for the new Munch Museum based on the drawings, but they are increasingly skeptical as the building rises and the facade becomes darker.

– I say that the Munch Museum sucks, both in the sense that it does not look good, but also in the sense that it brings all the light of Bjørvika, says Brochmann.

When he saw the drawings of the building, he appeared as a blue house, shrill and transparent, but now the architect and the writer changed their vision.

– The building now appears gray, black and impenetrable. What in the drawings showed a building with an elegant curve on the top, appears as a colossus of gray coke made up of almost three equal parts, he says.

– It seems sad

The Lambda project, designed by the Spanish architect Juan Herreros, has been criticized for many years. Among those who opposed the construction of a new Munch museum in Bjørvika, was the architect Didrik Hvoslef-Eide.

The greatest objection from Hvoslef-Eide to Lambda was that it meant avoiding urban development in Oslo Leste. Together with two other architects, he designed an alternative proposal for a new museum in Tøyen, to show that it was physically possible to add a new museum there.

He followed the case until today, says Dagbladet.

– The building now looks somewhat sad and gray, with some aluminum profiles that destroy the transparent effect as expressed in the competition project.

Hvoslef-Eide was particularly worried because the new Munch Museum is blocking the connection between the Opera and Ekebergåsen, which believes it is an important axis in Bjørvika.

– When I look at Lambda now in the light of day, it looks very dark and sad. On the back there is a concrete façade completely without incident. The sad wall blocks the Opera, that we could be a little proud in Bjørvika.

He believes that this is particularly attractive in the middle of the day.

– Now everything Bjørvika is generally gray. It's a paradox that even the workshops coincide with Lambda.

It emphasizes that the building may seem better at night when the light is lit.

– But then it becomes very similar to other glass buildings, he says.

– A signal building

Dagbladet called Kultur- og Idrettsbygg, who is responsible for the construction of the building. They confirm that the facade is essentially finished, with the exception of the small adjustments.

– The new Munch Museum is a sign building and, therefore, it is natural that many are involved. As a builder, we are very proud to be involved in the construction of the new museum, says Eli Grimsby, Director of Culture and Sports Building, of the Oslo City Council for Dagbladet.

– What is certain is that the glass and perforated aluminum panels will appear completely different when the light is connected and the museum is put in use of what is being built. The facade will also reflect water, light and sky in different ways during the day and the seasons.

Grimsby says that the perforated wave panels will give the public the opportunity to glimpse the fjord and the city, so that the view becomes part of the museum's experience. She also thinks there's a fantastic view from the top of the museum.

According to Grimsby, aluminum panels must also comply with the high climatic requirements of the building and that the surfaces are adapted so that they do not create too strong reflections on sunlight.

– The new Munch Museum is built to safeguard art in the best possible way, both in terms of light and in temperature, she says.

– A square block

Carl Ivar Hagen (Frp), member of the City Council of Oslo, was also a strong voice in opposition to Lambda. He first opposed spending billions in a new museum and rather he wanted money to go to social services.

– First of all, we do not want to spend a lot of money on that end. I do not think there's anything marvelous at all. I never liked it, neither the drawings nor what I see built now, he says and explains:

– It is a square mass. It is a normal square building and then it is the "incline" on the upper floor of the upper floors.

Hagen believes that when he spends so many millions in a building, everyone should be happy about it.

– If it were a wonderful building that was made when it came out of the sea, it would be something else. I am not an architect, I am a normal human being, but I do not think there is a beautiful building.

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