Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum reopens after five year renovation

Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum reopens after five year renovation

After five years of closure, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden’s Museum of Fine Arts and Design is set to reopen to the public on 13 October. A renovation by Wingårdhs and Wikerstål Arkitekter has transformed the exhibition spaces and created a new sculpture courtyard, restaurant and creative workshops.

Originally designed by German architect Friedrich August Stüler, who also designed the Neues Museum in Berlin, the stately building was built between 1844 and 1866 and over the decades to come would be modified and adapted, creating many layers, not all entirely cohesive.

Interior of the Nationalmuseum Stockholm

Interior of the Nationalmuseum with glass ceiling. Photography: Bruno Ehrs

The brief was to strip back the space to create a modern environment that respected the historic original architecture, yet was better for the display of art, and more of it – now the museum has the capacity to display more than 5,000 works at once from the diverse collection from the 16th century to today.

The exhibition space design was led by New York-based Joel Sanders Architect, with Swedish designers, Henrik Widenheim and Albert France-Lanord. The Wingårdhs team worked closely with Berlin-based lighting designers Kardorff Ingenieure to open up over 300 windows, most of which had been closed since the 1930s, and install a new lighting system and climate control.

Installation of Design Stories in Stockholm

Installation of Design Stories. Image courtesy Anna Danielsson

As well as renovation and updates, new additions have changed the character of the museum. The colour scheme was uplifted by bright hues, from canary yellow, to a pale purple and a deep red, each inspired by the original 1866 designs of the museum. A new space called The Treasury will house small objects including 600 portrait miniatures and a collection of jewellery with recent acquisitions.

The entrance hall has evolved with the connection of two original courtyards that have been renovated and reopened to create a more welcoming visitor experience.

Visitors will have new reasons to stay a little longer at the museum, as a new restaurant opens within the original interior of the building, as well as bespoke dinnerware – all carefully curated and designed by a team of over 30 designers. §

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