Today marks the grand opening of The Twist—a new museum at Northern Europe’s biggest sculpture park, where the pulp industry once reigned. In 2011 the grandson of the local mill’s founder Christen Sveaas ran a design competition to expand the site’s gallery space, and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) presented a torqued metal bridge that has now come to life.
"After many years of planning and development, we’re delighted to be opening this beautiful new space, The Twist, at Kistefos," says Sveaas. The new space will allow the site to expand work with leading contemporary artists.
"With the inhabited bridge, we stumbled upon our first experiment with social infrastructure—a building that serves as a bridge—or a cultural institution that serves as a piece of infrastructure," says Bjarke Ingels. He calls it "a sculpture, a building, a path in the landscape, and a bridge—all in one."
The Twist perfectly compliments the landscape and is a spirited addition to Kistefos. The structure itself is a massive, hovering sculpture, and it will house exhibitions from world-renowned artists in each of its three internal spaces: a panoramic gallery, an interstitial space, and a tall, closed gallery meant for large works of art.
Visitors can wander through the bridge’s shifting volumes, peering out at the forested landscape through a full-width glass wall that twists upwards as one moves from North to South across the Randselva River. Aluminum panels stack like a fan to create a mesmerizing spiraling effect.
"Wherever you look, you see arches and curves, Fibonacci spirals and saddle shapes, but when you look closer you realize that everything is created from straight lines—straight sheets of aluminum, straight boards of wood. It’s an expressive organic sculpture composed of rational repetitive elements," says Ingels.
At roughly 10,000 square feet, the museum is both literally and figuratively a huge addition for Norway. When Sveaas sparked the initiative eight years ago, he envisioned a worldwide attraction: "Our ambition is to make Kistefos a must-see cultural destination with a world-class temporary exhibition and sculpture park program to complement the rich industrial heritage of the site."