Feature Story from VESTRE - Moments of relaxation at the new Munch Museum in Oslo

Feature Story from VESTRE - Moments of relaxation at the new Munch Museum in Oslo

Moments of relaxation at the new Munch Museum in Oslo

On October 22, 2021, the doors to the new Edvard Munch Museum in Oslo were finally opened. The museum will be a global destination for experiencing Edvard Munch’s art and life – but also other art exhibitions and cultural experiences such as music, film, art talks, and various types of performances. With thousands of daily visitors, high demands were placed on the museum’s seating furniture to be both extremely durable and robust, but at the same time comfortable and blend into the museum’s interior.

The 13-storey and 58-meter-high building was designed by the Spanish architectural firm Estudio Herreros and includes eleven exhibition halls. Herrero’s design is based on the idea of ​​a tower-shaped museum, where the main functions are organised vertically. With its impressive height and the distinctly leaning top section, the tower is a very visible landmark from all sides. It gives the Oslo skyline a new shape, but bows respectfully towards the surrounding city.

The museum’s main hall has extraordinary acoustics and can accommodate up to 700 people while the hall on the 12th floor has a roof terrace with a unique view of the city and the fjord. The museum has around 28,000 objects – of which 1,200 paintings and over 7,000 drawings and sketches – created by the extremely productive Edvard Munch in its collections and for the first time, these works will truly have the space they deserve.

In 2017, a national design competition was announced, where the winner was given the prestigious assignment to create a furniture series for the museum. In fierce competition, designers Andreas Engesvik and Jonas Stokke were named winners. Soon after, Vestre won the tender for the production of the benches, and the work of developing the MUNCH series started.

The project was initially focused on designing a single bench, but as the benches with and without a backrest took shape, the designers saw how the design could be expanded. The final result was a series consisting of sofas, benches and lounge chairs as well as a café table and chair which are also part of Vestre’s new collection and available to the public.

The benches and the chairs are made up of layers of resilient steel mesh draped over a simple steel frame and are available with or without molded cushions made of wool textile. All three elements each have properties that complete the furniture’s function and design: the weight of the frame helps to make the furniture stable, the steel mesh adapts to the body for maximum ergonomics and the cushions contribute with comfort and a warm and tactile feel.

It is no exaggeration to say that the furniture in the museum – unlike most furniture for indoor use – also needed to be highly durable and able to be used for a very long time. With around one million visitors annually, they will be exposed to extreme wear. Therefore, the entire furniture is welded together, without screws or other parts that can come loose. This makes them extremely robust, and with proper maintenance, they can be used for hundreds of years.

IFLA Europe
VESTRE Hunter Industries

IFLA Europe

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