With its exposure to Sweden and Denmark, the little island of Odderøya in southern Norway unsurprisingly has a long naval and maritime history. Now the island is gaining a new cultural history museum, which will also serve as the starting point for visitors who want to discover and explore the rest of the island. Stavanger-based architectural practice Helen & Hard won the design competition run by Vest Agder Museum, which operates several visitor attractions in the region. The unanimous jury fell for the architects’ ability to combine the building with the adjoining rockface and their way of connecting to the existing harbour via a main entrance that extends down to the water as a decked slipway.
Glulam posts and diagonal glulam beams give the “Navet” building its shape, inside and out. The shell-like design turns a natural spotlight on the region’s nautical history and traditional boatbuilding.