New Cafe, the National Gallery

Oslo, Norway

Project Scope
Full Contract
The Directorate of Public Construction and Property / Statsbygg
8 mill. NOK
Completed 2002
Project Team
K.Jarmund, A.R.Aastad, G.Ferguson, T.Hjelle
J.Havran, P.Maning

In preparation for a new café, the original marbled stucco ornamentation and plaster-cast relief work lining the French Hall in the National Gallery in Oslo were uncovered and restored to their former glory. Originally a gift from the French state in 1924, such opulent ornamentation demanded a considered and thoughtful intervention. In response, KJ-A insisted on placing the kitchen and service spaces in an adjoining room in order to leave the grandeur of the hall itself unblemished while also setting the stage for a single, free-standing ‘temple’. Placed at the centre of the space, the temple comprises an assembly of multi-layered transparent and translucent glass shelves and display stands. In sharp contrast to the elaborate and moulded ornamentation of the enveloping hall, the temple is clean, minimal and contemporary in its form and detailing and is richly highlighted by coloured LED lighting. It also serves to conceal the new ventilation system placed at its centre.

The project received an honourable mention in the Norwegian Lighting Award, 2003.

Kristin Jarmund