Lillehammer Art Museum and Cinema Expansion
A transparent base for elevated art


Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture


Twenty two years after completing the first expansion to the Lillehammer Art Museum, Snøhetta took on another mission, creating a holistic expression for both the art museum and the adjacent cinema.

The Lillehammer Art Museum and Lillehammer Cinema were first established in an Erling Viksjø-designed building in 1964, which is considered today a definite representation of the architectural style of its time. In 1994, Snøhetta completed an extension to the Museum by constructing an independent building that sought to bridge the architectural language of the original 1960s buildings and contemporary formal expression.

In 2016, a second Snøhetta-designed expansion connects the two existing institutions with the addition of the new exhibition hall Weidemannsalen to the Museum, and two theaters and an interior renovation to the Lillehammer Cinema.

Technical details

Museum & Gallery, Renovation & Expansion
Lillehammer, Norway

Lillehammer municipality

1,700 m2

The sculpture garden set between the existing museum and the new was developed together with the artist Bård Brevik.

Photo: Mark Syke

One complete project

Integrating art, architecture, and landscape is essential in both Snøhetta and Erling Viksjø’s work. When Snøhetta designed the museum expansion in 1994, the spaces in between the buildings were transformed into an art garden in collaboration with artist Bård Breivik. For the recent expansion, it has been important to again enhance these connecting spaces, bringing the three volumes together in one complete project.

The Museum's expansion is based on the idea of art hovering above a transparent base. The new space houses a ground-level children's workshop with floor-to-ceiling windows and sits beneath a cantilevered hall wrapped in a dynamic metal façade.

Photo: Photo: Ketil Jacobsen,

Photo: Photo: Ketil Jacobsen,


The exhibition hall on top houses the works of Lillehammer-based artist Jakob Weidemann (1923-2001). The gallery's striking metallic wrapping reflects the surrounding context and changes its appearance with the light. 

The façade was created by the late Norwegian artist Bård Breivik (1948-2016), and is conceptually rooted in the sculptural idea of a shooting star, a dramatic symbol of the importance of Weidemann’s contribution to Norwegian painting. The façade is made from driven, highly polished stainless steel, with approximately 25 cm deep reliefs.

Photo: Mark Syke

Photo: Mark Syke

Two new movie theatres

To the Lillehammer Cinema, two new movie theatres were added, and the existing circulation space was renovated. One auditorium is integrated into the existing building structure, and the second is located below the art garden, between the two existing buildings.

The entrance façade is renewed to compliment the style of the original building, and brings to front a wall integrated with art by Odd Tandberg. The key concept is to bring back the foyer as an extension of the plaza in front of the Cinema, creating a stronger connection between the city and the foyer, as Viksjø originally had imagined it. With this, Tandberg's wall art in the foyer is again part of the city.

Photo: Mark Syke

Photo: Mark Syke

Photo: Mark Syke

Photo: Mark Syke