Snøhetta has developed the exhibition design, visual profile and a book for the “Víkingr” exhibition at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. The exhibition displays the most important objects from the museum’s broad selection of Viking artifacts, including the world’s best-preserved Viking helmet. The Víkingr exhibition presents historical objects in a contemporary format and will be open for five years, pending the renovation of the Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy.
The idea behind the exhibition design was to give visitors the opportunity to experience the artifacts from all sides in an uninterrupted manner. To observe the artifacts’ details, providing clarity and understanding of the relics from our past.
The exhibition displays what’s known as the world’s only existing Viking helmet, found on the Gjermundbu Farm in Buskerud, Norway.
The objects are exhibited through 19 tall glass vitrines custom made for the exhibition, allowing the visitor to see the objects from all angles. By presenting fewer objects, and giving them space to be studied, the exhibition aims to bring the objects closer to the visitor, encouraging them to explore and appreciate the high level of craftmanship and detail.
The contrast between the beautiful, handcrafted objects and their oftentimes violent history lends an interesting dynamic to the exhibition. The elegant presentation of the objects combined with the pared down aesthetics of the surroundings leave room for contemplation and learning.
The museum building is one of Norway’s finest examples of the Art Nouveau style, and the exhibition room has been refurbished in light colors and warm oak flooring for the exhibition.
The exhibition texts are hand painted in a painstaking manner.