The site is in the Møllendal area, with a lake, Store Lungegårdsvann, as the focal point of a large landscape area defined by three mountains – Mount Fløyen, Ulriken and Løvstakken. Through its function and its architecture, the Faculty is making a distinctive contribution to the ongoing development of this new area of the city. Throughout the planning of the building, the focus was on making good urban planning measures, emphasising the creation of generous public spaces and sightlines. The underlining intention was to link the institution to the city centre, both mentally and physically.

The Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design's new building was designed by the internationally renowned architectural firm Snøhetta. Already in 2005 the firm won the planning and design competition with the draft proposal '1.1 promille' and, in the second quarter 2015, Statsbygg started construction work following a thorough planning process in which KMD's requirements and activities were key factors. The Faculty's newbuild is, in all its detail, tailored to provide an art and design education and to conduct artistic research at the highest level. When the building was occupied at the start of the academic year in August 2017, it was the first time that all parts of the Department of Fine Art and Department of Design were located under the same roof.  

Tailored for art and design education

The new building has 14,800 square metres of floor space and includes a large project hall that can house extensive art projects and public activities. Students and academic staff at KMD have access to the best facilities and the most modern relevant equipment. There are 13 workshops in all, including for wood, ceramics, metal, paper, 3D modelling, printmaking, photo laboratories and casting. Priority has been given to providing plenty of space for studios and ateliers, painting rooms, studios for video, sound and photo, auditoriums and flexible project rooms. With the new building KMD has gained a whole new dimension, with public zones in the building giving the public access to its project halls, library, materials library and the café with outdoor tables on the southwest facing terrace.

Architectural qualities, floor plan and outdoor areas

The Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design's new premises are intended to stimulate a greater sense of belonging and a sense of fellowship amongst staff and between the different programmes and professions, as well as promote a dynamic working and learning environment. The new premises are also intended to encourage an interdisciplinary approach and the development of multidisciplinary expertise. The Faculty has two important axes, which it is planned and organised around:

  • The public axis – runs from the southeast to the northwest, from the Faculty's large workshop hall, the Project Hall, out into the space in front, which forms the 'Kunstallmenningen', the Arts Commons. The axis extends down towards the area's local market square, Byallmenningen, the Urban Commons. Visually, the axis continues across the lake Store Lungegårdsvann and into the city of Bergen. Along this axis, the city and art will interact, and the public is invited to gain insight into the Faculty's artistic activities.
     
  • The internal axis - runs from the southwest to the northeast, from the Faculty's café terrace along Møllendalsvegen road, via the Project Hall and out to the Faculty's backyard, Verkstedsgården (the workshop yard) in the east. In this axis, the Faculty pursues its disciplines and different artistic activities, and all its goods transport is also situated here. This axis is the Faculty's private arena, but the public is invited to use the Faculty's café and library adjacent to the café terrace on the first floor.

The Faculty has generously facilitated a large public space, Kunstallmenningen, a grand square where the Faculty's main entrance is a distinctive feature. The square is framed by retention basins for roof and surface water, with lush wetland vegetation. The plants are supplied with rainwater from the roof of the building. The rainwater runs via a distribution tank under the terrace, which distributes the water evenly throughout the year to the wetland area so as to avoid flooding.

The very heart of the Faculty and its grand arena is the Project Hall, which is located in the centre of the building and with a ceiling height of up to 23 metres. Three big skylights provide light in adjacent work rooms, such as studios and student workstations. With its large gantry crane and spanning an area of 52 x 23 metres, the hall can best be compared to a large workshop hall.