The Twist: A Sculptural Bridge-Like Gallery Space by Bjarke Ingels Group

A remarkable new building hovers over the surface of the Randselva River in Jevnaker, Norway, connecting two forested riverbanks as part of the Kistefos Museum, Northern Europe’s largest sculpture park. Appropriately called “The Twist,” the new gallery space by architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) achieves a beautiful curving form using nothing but straight lines.

This “art bridge” allows visitors to enjoy large outdoor works spread throughout the park on either side of the river as well as the historic Kistefos Wood Pulp Mill, a reclaimed factory onsite. The 1,400-square-meter building provides space for an information center, museum shop, triple-height gallery space, smaller gallery spaces and an outdoor terrace.

As visitors pass through the curving structure, the rotation of the glass changes the quality of light. The wide, naturally lit gallery on the north side offers panoramic views of the landscape, and the tall, dark gallery on the south end allows for more control with artificial lighting. A glass stairway leads down to the museum’s lower level on the north embankment.

“A simple twist in the building’s volume allows the bridge to lift from the lower, forested riverbank in the south up to the hillside area in the north. As a continuous path in the landscape, both sides of the building serve as the main entrance. from the south entry, visitors cross a 16m aluminum-clad steel bridge to reach the double-height space with a clear view to the north end, similarly linked with a 9m pedestrian bridge.”

“The double-curve geometry of the museum is comprised of straight 40cm wide aluminum panels arranged like a stack of books, shifted every so slightly in a fanning motion. The same principle is used inside with white painted 8cm wide fir slats cladding the floor, wall and ceiling as one uniform backdrop for Kistefos’ short-term Norwegian and international exhibitions. From either direction, visitors experience the twisted gallery as though walking through a camera shutter.”