The Twist, Kistefos
The Twist is a gallery, a bridge and a sculpture, all in one building. Opened in September 2019 by Queen Sonja of Norway, the art gallery at Kistefos Sculpture Park in Norway provides 1,000m2 of dramatic gallery space spanning 60m across the Randselva River.
The gallery provides space to display visual arts with particular focus on international contemporary art.
In collaboration with architects Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) and an international team of consultants, Max Fordham developed the gallery environmental design and MEP systems from initial concepts through to detailed design.
From the outset of the project we worked closely with the client and art curators to develop an environmental brief that could deliver the desired occupancy, flexibility, light, views and sustainability while ensuring conservation of international contemporary art collections.
Advanced digital tools for design, coordination and collaboration were vital to ensure the successful delivery of this complex brief in a beautifully elegant gallery. We used parametric modelling techniques to assess, inform and optimise various architectural design options.
The output of the modelling allowed us to test annual daylight exposure levels that art would experience in different parts of the building and inform the best locations of various types of artwork within the gallery.
The Closed Gallery with the least daylight was designed to accommodate the most sensitive art collections. As well as informing the initial design options, this modelling helped to refine and reduce the area of glazing around the entrance to the Closed Gallery.
This daylight modelling was also used to develop accurate visualisations of the gallery space to inform the visual comfort and the look and feel of the daylight throughout the galleries.
The visualisations helped to inform the striking effect of daylight through the galleries as the glazing gradually reduces along the “zipper”. This gradual transition also ensures good visual comfort for the visitor as they move from the Closed Gallery to the daylit Panoramic Gallery.
The gallery environmental brief demanded extensive air conditioning systems, while the architectural aspirations for the building demanded highly integrated and discrete MEP systems. We worked closely with BIG to carefully integrate and CFD model the displacement ventilation system into the complex architectural form, arranging the timber lamellas to provide elegant supply and extract openings at high and low level.
Gallery Lighting and power sockets were also carefully integrated into the architectural lamellas.
M&E systems would typically run in ceilings and floors, however in The Twist the floors and ceilings transition into walls. This made the services distribution very complex to design, coordinate and communicate to the design team and contractor.
3D modelling was crucial to establishing and coordinating services routes. Shared Revit models were used to coordinate and communicate designs throughout the design process, using clash detection at the detailed design stages.
"The museum visit itself [is] a bridge, not a goal – and the exhibits inside an interior extension of the promenade through the Sculpture Park. With the inhabited bridge, we stumbled upon our first experiment with social infrastructure – a building that serves as a bridge – or a cultural institution that serves as a piece of infrastructure." Bjarke Ingels, BIG (Dezeen)