Klaus Schuwerk
Klaus Schuwerk. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet

The Architect's own words

Firmitas was a term used in Antiquity to define one of the most important qualities for a building: it should be solid and lasting.

We live in an age that produces things that soon become obsolete, and that are quickly discarded. This is of course profoundly unecological.

A museum represents the collective memory of the society to which it belongs, values that are important for future generations. The longevity of a museum building therefore becomes doubly important. The materials should stand the test of time, so that the building can age with patina and dignity. 

Timelessness is in many ways unobtainable. All objects are marked by their time. But if we try to avoid the sensational, and seek eternal qualities, this building may well become a symbol of the deepest aspirations of our generation. That is our ambition for the new National Arts Museum.

Klaus Schuwerk
Partner at architects Kleihues + Schuwerk, winners of the architectural competition for the new museum.