The structure of the building is like an incision in the Earth’s surface. If you open it, like the cover of a book, the past will be revealed. This concept results in two themes:
a) the ascent and the bridge which leads directly to the site of the rock-carvings;
b) the «descent» to the museum, library and art collection, where the spaces for study and research find their place.
The building becomes an extension of the landscape. The promenade passes through and above the structure, and the walkway that gradually rises from the car park to the plateau is like a path in sloping terrain.
For the typical landscape of Østfold county, with its flat, fertile fields and sculpturally formed hills, one has to discover an architecture that will act as a «landscape key» to combine these characteristics, both topographically and literally. This mechanism must provide a gateway to the historical data.
The cultural centre will illustrate the enormous development that has taken place from the time when the drawings (letters) were carved into the hard granite
– the first legible narratives, the first stationary collection of memories – to today’s immaterial world of books, diskettes and computer screens. With this in mind, we have chosen to give the whole building an egalitarian design, a landscape interior and a facade that pays homage to the hillside. Whether you read the book or study the exhibits in the museum, the red granite is always present.
The tall, V-shaped pillars provide niches for the historical exhibition. They are reminiscent of large, hollow tree trunks, and amidst this «vegetation» you find the book and the peaceful calm.