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Travel tip Norway, Must See, The Twist and Kistefos

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

If you have the slightest interest in art and history, then you should experience an architectural work of art, you will not regret it.

Text (translated by Google) and photo Ingar Næss. (c)

The Twist, Kistefos (c) Foto Ingar Næss

Imagine a gallery and museum, laid out in "woods", or as Christen Sveaas himself is said to have said: "It's in the middle of nowhere!" or at Jevnaker, as the locals like to call it! Many, including myself, had noticed that a new gallery had been established, in a new and exciting building near Jevnaker! This is no more than an hour's drive from Oslo, so it was not as far as it might sound. On the day I visited Kistefos, the fog lay thick over the Tyrifjorden and I thought that this could give a little extra atmosphere along the Randselva where the center is located.

was most excited about whether I was going to see anything, but yes, this will be good, I could tell when I arrived. I am moderately interested in art, but that was before I took the trip up to Kistefos. Even before you enter the park itself, you are greeted by an exciting sculpture that turns out to be the ticket kiosk itself. I can feel the expectations growing, yes, I am looking forward to this visit.

Kistefos Museum (c) Foto Ingar Næss

Not only had I read about the opening in Norwegian newspapers, but this building had also achieved fantastic international attention and recognition. The fact that the price tag was a few hundred million also contributed to the press writing about the place. The Kistefos Museum was established as early as 1996 by businessman and art collector Christen Sveaas. Since 1996, they have gradually expanded and grown into an important center for contemporary art in Europe. The fact that he chose to develop Kistefos was based on the fact that his family had established a wood pulp business here as far back as 1889. My interest in telling about this place started when I read up on the background and the need for a new and more modern gallery. Their old premises in what is called Nybruket Galleri had become too small and did not meet the requirements of a modern gallery.

At the same time, the sculpture park had expanded and developed in an inefficient U-shape, down either side of the river bank of the Randselva. These extensions again made it necessary for a second bridge, in order to get a better flow of public walking and, not least, experience. I have been told that this need had been discussed as far back as 2010, but only gained real momentum around 2016. It was the Danish architectural group BIG, Bjarke Ingels Group, which was invited to draw a proposal for the new building. They then came up with the idea of ​​linking these two needs together in a new gallery/museum building into a new bridge. From Kistefos' side, it then became a requirement that the building should have great sculptural qualities, and the result was The Twist

The Twist, Kistefos (c) Foto Ingar Næss

That the choice had fallen on the Danish star architects in BIG was surely linked to their international recognition. That the result was The Twist meant that Kistefos has got a fantastic gallery, in a fantastic bridge, which you don't think you're crossing, because everything you see is an incredible sculpture in itself.

The Twist, Kistefos (c) Foto Ingar Næss

The bridge or gallery is a thousand square meters and literally floats over the Randsriver, in a 60-meter-long span. Yes, I just have to admit that these architects are fantastically talented. Just put yourself into the idea of ​​designing a bridge so that the gallery building itself becomes a work of art, - I think it's amazing. This building somehow takes off and twists itself over the river, with a twist, which makes this masterpiece a unique sculptural experience.

No wonder they have received a number of awards and nominations, such as "Best Architecture" under the Leading Culture Destinations Award and "International Museum of the Year 2019" by Designboom.

Yes, the fact that The Twist has been referred to as a "Must See cultural destination" by, among others, the New York Times, Bloomberg, and The Telegraph show that they have not only hit, - right in the middle of the very innermost.

The Twist, Kistefos (c) Foto Ingar Næss

Construction started at the turn of the year 2017 and The Twist opened on 18 September 2019. Since the entire project had cost around NOK 200 million, this, as I said, also became an item with both Norwegian and international journalists. It's a lot of money when the gallery is located deep in the "woods" or as Sveaas himself said, "It's in the middle of nowhere!"

The Twist, Kistefos (c) Foto Ingar Næss

Success was a fact and visitor numbers increased, but the fact that five months after the opening the pandemic came, which caused the world to "shut down", must have taken the night's sleep from those responsible, up here in the forest! But no, what they had planned was so good that even without knowing that a pandemic was coming, everything was arranged. While others had to close and create a digital museum, this became a new opportunity for Kistefos.

Vandringsveien på Kistefos Museum (c) Foto Ingar Næss

The new hiking plan fits right in with the new Corona orders and made it easy to make a "pandemic relevant" adaptation. The visitors got better space for their walk through the gallery and museum, well within all the imposed orders regarding distance and infection control. This is how things only went up with this great museum and gallery, throughout the pandemic. Imagining visitor numbers of over 100,000 is simply a fantastic number when the borders are also closed. One of the reasons why I learned about Kistefos and this new gallery was that about 60 national and international journalists and photographers, speechless with admiration, have told the story. News of this unique building spread around the world and new visitors flocked to this great center for contemporary art.

The fact that the bridge had also become a gallery is something to look forward to. Follow their websites, where you can see which exhibitions are on at any given time. Yes, perhaps you have already seen the new web pages and read about Kistefos and The Twist. I understand that it is quite clear that they wanted to appear as a modern museum, right from the launch of The Twist. Whether they have succeeded, well, you have to judge that for yourself, but I believe that they have got an exciting and modern layout.

If or when you visit, you will see beautiful pictures, which tell you what experience you will get, if or when you get there. There is something in the old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words", and they last a long time in this context.

The Twist, Kistefos (c) Foto Ingar Næss

Maybe you've been on social media and discovered The Twist, well wherever, I got the feeling this was a "must-see" destination. If you visit Instagram and or Facebook you can read about other people's experiences, yes here you can become an "ambassador" for this great art center with your own photos. There is no doubt that this is still a bit out in the "woods", but it is only an hour from the center of Oslo. I hope I have managed to arouse your curiosity, so you can have a trip to this exotic and beautiful place. For the current year (2022) you only have a few days left, if any. They close the gallery and the offers inside The Twist and the other buildings on October 16, but the sculpture park is always open, even outside normal opening hours and seasons.

If it doesn't happen this year, you have plenty of time to plan for next year's excursions and experiences. NB! I haven't shown you much about the historic buildings and the sculpture park, but it's completely proven, something you should look forward to. Remember, you can bring the children here and I'm sure they'll also have something to say when they get home, whether they're in kindergarten or school!

Kistefos Museum (c) Foto Ingar Næss

I hope that y will have a good trip when to go to Norway and this wonderful place.

Remember to post the photos you take on Instagram and or Facebook. Ingar Næss,

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