Housing the Scream: Revit helps a new Munch Museum rise in Oslo

Sylvia Knauer Sylvia Knauer June 8, 2017

5 min read

You are likely familiar with the work of Edvard Munch whose painting “The Scream” has iconic status and is a universal cultural reference.  But did you know Revit software has been central to the design of the new Munch Museum that will house a large collection of the artist’s work?

In his native Norway, Munch is a national legend and is globally recognized as one of Modernism’s most significant and influential artists whose work extends to painting, graphic art, drawing, sculpture and photography.  Upon his death at age 81 in 1944, Munch left over half of his entire works to the City of Oslo.  The Munch Museum at Toyen was built in 1963 to hold this extensive collection.

In 2008, realizing the original structure was no longer adequate, Oslo held an international architectural design competition to source a new museum to house the collection. Spanish architecture firm Estudio Herreros Arquitectos of Madrid won with their proposal known as the Lambda.

The architect Juan Herreros explains the Munch project in the City of Oslo.

Located in the Bjorvika urban redevelopment zone, the museum project is 28,000 square meters in a narrow structure containing 12 floors on a three-story base. The vertical structure will house exhibition areas, workshops, storage and offices. The building was designed to serve as a complementary counter-point to the prize-winning horizontal form of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet by Snøhetta located just 200 meters away. The museum façades consist of reflecting undulated material with different grades of transparency which respond and react to changing light.


The project is scheduled to open in 2020. 

Starchitect partners with a local firm

For this high profile project, lead firm Herreros Arquitectos opted to partner with Norwegian firm LPO Arkitekter.  LPO was brought on not only to provide the local context, but also for its expertise on how buildings are designed in northern Europe, with the City of Oslo requiring the museum be designed using BIM (Building Information Modeling).  As a fully adopted Revit firm, LPO has experienced the  advantages of using BIM, from conceptual design through to visualization.

Revit’s capacity for multi-discipline BIM was an advantage in this project, as in addition to showcasing the important collection, the museum design required integration of systems to manage air temperature and humidity, to control lighting, and to provide for security and visitor experience.  The new museum was designed with a separation of building systems. It has a concrete core, a climate skin, and an additional external skin.  Lars Haukeland, architect and design leader at LPO, found Revit made the required level of collaboration between disciplines possible so that they could handle the various architectural elements and technical systems in the project.

Using a Revit model, the team was able to not only see what the building would look like before it was built, but also simulate construction.  They were able to preview construction of the concrete core with an animated Revit visualization that was then replicated by timelapse video of the raising of the core on-site captured by a local TV crew.  “It was the same film,” exclaimed Haukeland, “We saw what it would look like in Revit, and then they filmed the same thing in real life.”

Maintaining a long distance relationship

With design teams located in both Madrid and Oslo, the firms looked for a way to collaborate without requiring that the Spanish team relocate to Norway where the project and other consultants were. At first they tried using VPN, but it was far too slow for their needs. Ultimately, they chose to complement their use of Revit with BIM 360 Team and Collaboration for Revit from Autodesk to connect the Revit design team and the extended team stakeholders, including the municipality, the museum, and museum administrators.

Collaboration for Revit enabled the firms to realize the benefits of multidisciplinary Revit, across multiple locations, without losing time when sharing data. 

With Collaboration for Revit enabling cloud-based worksharing across locations and firewalls, the team members were able to work together on the same model as if they were in the same office.  “These tools allowed us to work with a central model which was up in the cloud. The whole team in Spain and the whole team at the office here can work together on the same model”, Said Haukeland.

Bente Kleven, Senior Architect at LPO, noted that whether a project is as big as the Munch museum or smaller, architects have to work together in inter-disciplinary teams.  Designer, engineers, and contractors all come to the project with their own specialty, but in the end all components need to be put in one model.  “Therefore, it’s most efficient when everyone is in the same program, because then we don’t need to translate from one program to another program,” says Kleven.  With all disciplines working in Revit, designers were able to easily see potential conflicts between elements right in the model, saving time on later re-work by preventing errors from occurring.

Haukeland agreed, “In a complex project, it is really important that everyone is updated and the Revit technology makes it even more possible than before that everyone is on the same level in the project.”

With BIM 360 Team, they were able to expedite reviews and feedback.  Per Haukeland “We could work directly together, we could work one-to-one.  We didn’t need to wait, and we could work on the same model and communicate to everyone.”  Being able to get decision-makers involved in the process let them work more precisely and effectively.

Bente Kleven agrees, “The Munch project is actually so complicated, if we didn’t have Revit and Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Team, we simply wouldn’t be able to design it such a short time.”

The new museum is scheduled to open in 2020.

Learn more about using Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Team for better team collaboration on your Revit projects.  Try the services free for 60 days.

See how Beca – one of Asia Pacific’s leading professional consultancies– used Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Team to connect workers across six time zones and add hours to its workday.

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