Norway’s new global attraction
Everything you need to know about the new museum of the Viking Age
When will the new museum be completed?
We plan to complete the new museum of the Viking Age in 2025.
Why are we building a new museum?
Interest in The Viking Ship Museum and its artefacts has been enormous right from the very beginning. The present location of the ships doesn’t provide good enough conditions, but a new building with a regulated climate and new support systems will be able to secure our unique artefacts for future generations. The new museum will enable us to display the Viking ships and other Viking Age collections in a more secure, visitor-friendly manner than what is possible in the present Viking Ship Museum.
How will the safety of ships and artefacts be safeguarded?
The Museum’s specialist conservation and collection management staff are collaborating with Statsbygg and external experts. In a dedicated project, they are working on solutions that will ensure the safe handling of the ships and artefacts during the construction process and on safe methods of moving to the new building. Items that can be moved will be stored in the Museum’s storage facilities before being relocated to the new museum building. The items that remain in the Viking Ship Museum will be safely secured and monitored.
Who is going to build the new museum?
Statsbygg, the Norwegian Government’s key advisor in construction and property affairs, is responsible for the engineering, planning and construction of the new museum complex, and have been commissioned by The Ministry of Education and Research. AART architects are responsible for the design. UiO (University of Oslo) is responsible for ensuring that the construction project is carried out according to project objectives, and also has operational and administrative responsibility for the building after completion. The Museum of Cultural History is responsible for visitor attractions, exhibitions, research and dissemination concepts.
How big is it going to be?
The new museum of the Viking Age will be three times the size of the current Viking Ship Museum. In total, the new museum will be approximately 13,000 m2, of which approximately 9000 m2 are public areas, including 5500 m2 of exhibitions.
What is going to be in the new museum?
In addition to tripling the size of the exhibition areas, the new museum complex will include a restaurant, a lecture hall, a museum shop, a museum park, a dedicated area for visiting students, laboratories that are open to the public and a research centre.
What will the public be able to experience at the new museum of the Viking Age that isn’t on offer at the current Viking Ship Museum?
While the Viking Ship Museum is a museum that exhibits ships and artefacts from four ship burial sites, the new museum will provide a more complete picture of the Viking Age in its entirety. We have approximately 50,000 artefacts from the Viking Age stored at The Museum of Cultural History’s facilities. By exhibiting many more of these artefacts, the museum will present a complex and unique picture of the entire Viking Age, with our magnificent ships as the main attraction.
What are the old premises going to be used for?
The new museum is being built as an extension to the famous Viking Ship Museum that Arnstein Arneberg designed, which opened in 1926. This will be the location of the Museum’s entrance and information, as well as the auditorium and museum shop.
Will the museum remain open to the public throughout the construction period?
No, the museum will be closed for a certain period of time in order to ensure the progress of the project, as well as the safety of our artefacts. It has not yet been clarified when and for how long the museum will be closed.
Why should we look forward to the new museum being completed?
Because it is going to be a world-class museum that will include captivating and dynamic exhibitions that give our unique artefacts the space and safety they deserve. Moreover, the building has a fantastic design and offers an unprecedented opportunity to gain a close view of the Viking Age through exhibitions and laboratories that are open to the public. The museum will become an active focal point for academic communities that are interested in the Viking Age and will organize seminars and events in addition to research. With its lovely park, restaurant and playground, we also hope it becomes a place that both our neighbours and other Oslo residents will be proud of and use regularly. It will be a museum where there is always something new to discover, and which both children and adults will want to return to in order to discover and experience more.