SAAHA  2024

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date:         2016

status:     prequalified assignment

type:         museum

client:       statsbygg

SAAHA in collaboration with LALA and DOF present Ouroboros, which is one of the purchased proposals in the open international competition for the new Viking Ship Museum in Bygdøy, Oslo.

«Ouroboros originates from the Greek words of Oura for 'tail' and Boros for 'devour', which is an ancient circular symbol depicting a snake or dragon devouring its tail, standing for infinity or wholeness. This holds a variety of widespread interpretations and meanings as a figure representing an "all-in-all," totality of existence, wholeness, infinity, eternity, a cosmic cyclical nature, immortality, rebirth and the continuous renewal of life, the end as the beginning. In Norse mythology it refers to the World Serpent winding around Midgard by biting itself in the tail, embracing the world in the ocean's abyss.

Through the combination of natural conditions in the local area, with short-lived carbon neutral construction materials, the school itself can become a learning facility. Both active and passive technological solutions are made visible for the building users to push forward the ability to make it educational.

Just as Jormundgand grew to become the Midgard Serpent that winds around the world, the North and West wings of the existing Viking Ship Museum are expanded to meet in an enveloping shape. In this way, "Ouroboros" becomes both the beginning and end of the museum by forming an enveloping frame for both the visitors and staff of the museum. Our project "Ouroboros" represents a circular loop as a symbol of nature's eternal cycle. Architecturally, we rely on Arneberg's iconographic building and his intentions to finalize the cruciform. "Ouroboros" adds a circular extension towards the North West which is based on and developed from the existing museum's geometry and architectural logic. This allowed us to integrate the existing Viking Ship Museum as the continued natural focal point.