“This has been an exciting and unusual project to be involved in. You don’t normally get the chance to work so closely with an artist on such a major, complex and spectacular project,” says Hanne Tangen, who together with Kari Havnevik managed the project for Multiconsult.
The installation at the Kistefos museum in Jevnaker was bigger than any of the artist’s previous works. The client was Kistefos-museet AS/Christen Sveaas Art Collection.
“Multiconsult has worked closely with the artist, the architects and engineer at ‘Jeppe Hein Studio’, and Norconsult, who designed the foundations. The project covered a new access road to the installation, a viewing platform, stairs, paths, siting the installation in the terrain, selecting vegetation and materials, and finding a location for a pumping station. All of the landscaping, stairs and structures were designed directly in 3D,” says Kari Havnevik.
Mirrors the forest around it
The installation consists of 460 polished stainless steel pillars. These form a labyrinth that follows the shape of the land. Inside the labyrinth there are three rooms of varying sizes with different themes.
“The artist wanted the landscape in the labyrinth to mirror the forest around it, so there are mirrors to reflect the landscape. The vegetation consists of plants that grow naturally in the forest. The idea is that the vegetation will eventually ‘take over’ and become part of the work of art, giving it a wilder and more natural feel,” says Tangen.
Large rocks from the forest were placed both around and in the installation. There is also a narrow path inside it covered with a mixture of bark and gravel to resemble a forest path. At the centre of the installation there is a big, intricately-patterned paved area made of slate. There is also an interactive fountain with water jets that come on and off at irregular intervals.
A viewing platform for everyone
The chosen site had large elevation differences. The artist wished to emphasise this by locating the various rooms of the installation at different levels. The landscape architects levelled the terrain slightly and adapted it to the labyrinth. They also found space for a large reservoir and a 50 sq. m. underground pumping station. It was important to preserve the existing trees while making it possible for visitors to walk around the site and ensuring universal accessibility.
“There is a viewing platform with a universal design that allows you to admire the installation from above. Road access was provided to the pumping station. The same road also leads to a viewpoint facing the river from which you can see the old factory’s discharge area with its large, sculptural pipes and the factory building’s magnificent brick facade,” says Havnevik.
Natural interfaces between the vegetation and steel
A lot of work went into selecting materials and vegetation that would create the desired natural look. Areas of vegetation are situated alongside moss-covered stones. Only green plants that don’t flower or hardly flower were used. In addition, a maple tree was planted in one of the installation’s three rooms. Trees were also planted outside the installation, and they are beautifully reflected in the pillars.
The mosaic floor of the fountain is made of Norwegian slate, and the steel pillars are surrounded by the same kind of slate, this time crushed, as an interface between the vegetation and the steel.
“There were both practical and aesthetic reasons for this choice. The crushed slate is labour-saving because it avoids the need to cut the vegetation right up against and between the pillars. Various types of Norwegian slate were tested during the complex process of finding one with the right properties and colour tones for both the fountain paving and around the pillars.
Multiconsult was responsible for the disciplines Landscape Architecture, Highway Engineering and Water and Wastewater Engineering.
– Responsibility for coordinating the joint 3D model for architecture/landscape architecture/engineering disciplines
– Preliminary project comprising an illustrative plan, illustrations, a study of various material properties and a cost estimate
– Detailed design comprising working drawings, detailed landscape plan, details and sections, 3D model, technical specification
– Supervision of construction works
– Helping architect to select materials