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The Stage is Yours!

Kristiansand, Norway


Welcome to the new cultural centre of Kristiansand! The ambition for the art silo and its surrounding area is to create a new type of art centre, where the border between backstage and front stage is blurred and continuously changing. As a visitor you are invited to participate in a variety of art forms both inside the buildings and between them.


Embedded in the existing industrial harbour front is an endless potential for production and exhibition of art. Our proposal serves, as a link between city, art and the public, and it is an open invitation to everyone who wishes to partake in shaping the new cultural centre of Kristiansand.

1. Kilden Concert House | 2. Art Silo | 3. Cultural School | 4. Residential | 5. Parking

6. Student Housing | 7. Grove | 8. Shared space | 9. The Corn Plaza | 10. Evening Theatre | 11. Morning Theatre

The main idea of the project is to incapsule the the amazing panoramic views at Hauklandstrand in a circular building form.

Backstage become frontstage

Today, the area around the silo suffers from a problematic relationship between what is perceived as front- and backside. Both the silo and Kilden concert-hall have a very clear orientation towards the waterfront to the west. Visitors arriving via Sjølystveien are met with closed facades and spaces scaled for a distant industry rather than human beings. Our proposal introduces building volumes designed to erase the strong sense of front- and backside, creating a defined street along Sjølystveien and a new, sheltered square, the Grain Square, east of the silo.

The Grain Square

The existing and new culture institutions such as the culture school, the Kilden concert-hall and the art silo, with its translucent hotel/ office-extension towards the east, lie next to the Grain Square and add to it as an arena for displaying and production of art. This unique and spacious square can contain a number of functions such as a Fringe Theatre, concerts from the Kilden repertoire, construction site for art students etc. Also part of the square is a water theatre that steps down towards the canal, and the foundation for the 31st silo pipe, which will serve as a small venue for changing art installations.

The grain silo – A museum combined with an art hotel.

We aim to create a unique museum-hybrid, which features the Sørlandet Kunstmuseum, The Nicolai Tangen-collection and a hotel. Towards the harbour front the art silo is preserved largely as it is today, with only minor alterations, such as the glass boxes around the balconies. From the sea one can also see artwork displayed on top of the lower building volumes, and the top of the hotel-extension, which contains a restaurant and a viewing platform. By adding the hotel to the museum we aim to create a building that has a vibrant pulse through both day and night. The added volume also provides room for a future expansion of the museum. On the ground floor there is among other things a foyer and a café, which serves and connects hotel and museum. The harbour floor runs through the foyer and entrances on both sides ensure a two-sided orientation of the building.

The Foyer

The foyer is open to all and includes varied activities such as ticket sales, information and reception, art library, art lounge, café, bar, an area for children activities, an auditorium, exhibition and an art shop.

The Exhibition Area

The proposal presents a museum building with varied spatial experiences and good, various exhibition opportunities for both art and other visual experiences. SMKU and NT collection are placed in individual building volumes, respectively. The upper floors of the existing warehouse and on the upper floors in the new addition. The exhibition areas for both collections area solved primarily in rectangular rooms, but both are connected to showrooms inside the silo tubes. Within the silo tubes, there are flexible ways of utilizing it's unique shape. Some rooms are formed by a single pipe and other, larger rooms with removed cylinders walls. Here one can exhibit art in a spectacular fashion, but there is also a potential for exhibition of artistic expressions such as light, sound, video and sculpture.

A grand staircase in solid wood replaces 4 silo pipes and constitutes the main vertical connection throughout the museum. As a visitor to the museum, one returns to the grand staircase for each floor and thereby is an anchor point for the experience of art and the building itself.

Typology:  Cultural, Transformation

Location:  Kristiansand, Norway

Year:  2016

Status:  Competition entry

Size:  10.000 m2

Client:  Kristiansand Kommune

Collaborators:  Marco Boella, Florian Kosche Dipl. Ing

Team:  Tora Arctander, Johann Magnus Kjartansson, Marit Justine Haugen, Dan Zohar

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