Greenland's New National Gallery of Art by BIG

The Greenland's New National Gallery, designed by BIG in the city of NUUK, will be implanted on a site which nature will play an important factor. Nuuk is an example of Danish Functionality architecture, specifically composed of square boxes. Yet these buildings have this particularity of not to respond to the nature of Greenland. BIG's idea is to opt for a building design which will have an interplay with the surrounded nature.
BIG's goal with building design is to create not a gallery but, a gallery that will rather be a symbolic tool.
The New National Gallery in NUUK, © BIG

BIG's diagrams and plan provide a lot of information that will help understand the building design.
The explosion axonometry shows how building circular in form and landscape are in symbiosis.
Explosion Axonometry © BIG

The sculpture garden will be placed in the center of the building creating an outdoor garden. The symbiosis of the building and its sculpture garden can be seen as a reflect of BIG's search for a harmony of the building and its landscape. Natural elements are designed not only around the building but also inside the building.
Axonometric Diagram © BIG
The building is based on a circle. The geometrical circular shape is supplied by the building topography. The outcome will be a simple, functional and flexible circular building being clad in white concrete that will patina over time to respond to the site conditions. A simple and refined frame, that contrasts the rough nature the rough nature and complements the spectacular views, will define the circular inner glass.
Axonometric Diagram © BIG
The building shape seems to be a metaphor to glaciers and drifting snow. The shape, specifically, one of the external walls, is deformation creating affects on the volume…
Axonometric Diagram © BIG

for a best adaptation to its site, the steep slope. It, also, permits the integration of the outdoor sculpture garden generating a continuity with both inside and outside. Deforming one of the external walls opens up both courtyard and museum to get a beautiful view of the majestic fjord.
Axonometric Diagram © BIG

The Administration and outreach facilities in the second floor will be integrated into the mezzanine level between the exhibition space and public foyer. A direction connection to more public functions will be created at both ends: an auditorium to the west and a reading room to the east.
Axonometric Diagram © BIG

The New Gallery will be built as a courtyard building with central sculpture garden and staircases. The sculpture garden will be the key element of the building design with purpose is to create an interaction between the building, the users, the personnel, the visitors and its environment, culture and nature, inside and outside. One will certainly see the concept of 'mountain' in the sculpture garden and its central courtyard-cum-staircases.
Axonometric Diagram © BIG
Circulation will be vertically circular as the last axonometric diagram shows. Access to the upper floors can be made with the central staircases as well as a ramp. The ramp will also act as a linear gallery such as the Guggenheim Museum's rotunda in New York.
Model © BIG
West Elevation © BIG

South Elevation © BIG

Ground-floor plan © BIG
A flexible division of the spaces into different shapes and sizes permits a better management of the articulation of inner spaces and circulation of the users.
First-Floor Plan © BIG

Access to the exhibition is facilitated through a covered opening created by a slight lift in the facade into a lobby with a 180 degree panorama view towards the sculpture garden and the fjord as well as access to the common museum, functions, including ticket counters, wardrobe, boutique and a café.
Second-Floor Plan © BIG

Daylighting will be another important point as it will define the orientation the shape, and the implantation of the building on site. This strategy will provide natural light to the interior spaces.
Daylight Diagram © BIG

The exhibition galleries will shift from daylight to artificial light. The daylight galleries will vary in terms of ceiling heights to adapt to larger works and sculptures. All gallery spaces will have a minimum clearance of 4m. Administration and outreach facilities will get natural light and views through windows that will face the central outdoor garden. Ateliers and workshops will have skylights and horizontal strips of windows incorporated into the terraced landscape.
Daylight Diagram © BIG

A generous entrance opening will be oriented towards the arrival point and the city behind.

Program Diagram © BIG
Articulation of the program will follow the concept with entrance in the ground floor, administrative and outreach in the first floor and the exhibition and workshops in the second floor.

I will go back to this article when I will have more information on completion year.

Building facts
Project: Greenland's National Gallery of Art
Program: exhibition
Architect: BIG
Partner in charge: Bjarke Ingels, Andreeas Pedersen
Project leader: Jakob Henke
Client: Nunatta Eqqquluistsulianik
Status: 1st prize, in progress
Size: 3000 sqm
Images © BIG 

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