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Snøhetta unveils plans to redesign and expand Kon-Tiki Museum

Snøhetta has unveiled plans to redesign and expand the Kon-Tiki Museum, which is based in Oslo and dedicated to Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl.

snohetta kon tiki museum

Snøhetta, an international architecture studio, designed the expansion as part of a feasibility study for the Kon-Tiki Museum, which was completed in fall 2020.

The refurbished and expanded museum, which is located on the forested Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo, is scheduled to open in 2025.

The Kon-Tiki Museum is one of the most visited museums in Norway. It boasts a collection of Thor Heyerdahl‘s work, including his trips with Kon-Tiki, the Ra, the Ra II and the Tigris.

“Already as a young boy, Heyerdahl had a strong interest in nature and animals,” said Snøhetta. “The new Kon-Tiki Museum aims to spark this same curiosity and urge to explore, particularly among children.”

Expansion opening in 2025

snohetta kon tiki museum

The Kon-Tiki Museum’s new centrepiece is a large wooden wedge with a multi-purpose auditorium at its tip. This will offer views of the surrounding gardens, trees and skies.

The auditorium will become a space for visitors of all ages, where they can learn about “the importance of consumption reduction” and explore “the global challenges related to our lack of focus on ocean health”.

“The wooden wedge stretches as a sail with the wind, establishing a connection between the urban frontcourt and the garden oasis,” said Snøhetta.

“The sail unfolds towards the sky and leads the way forward, symbolizing Heyerdahl’s focus on close collaboration between people and nature.”

New auditorium for Kon-Tiki Museum

snohetta kon tiki museum

The expansion involves splitting the existing building in two, with one side featuring Kon-Tiki and the other showcasing the Ra II.

Additionally, the museum has set ambitious sustainability targets. These include reducing the building’s total CO2 emissions by using energy efficient materials,

“Heyerdahl was invested in the preservation of nature, concerned by overconsumption, and passionate about creating a more sustainable world,” said Snøhetta.

Tickets are now on sale for greenloop, the world’s first sustainability in attractions conference, which takes place on April 20 and 21.

Images: Snøhetta

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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