57: Interview with Juan Herreros, Architect of MUNCH

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Life in Norway Show Episode 57: Spanish architect Juan Herreros talks about the architectural choices of the controversial new Munch Museum in Oslo.

I recently attended the press preview day of the new Munch museum. The striking building is the latest addition to Oslo’s ambitious Fjord City project, which is slowly transforming the waterfront of Oslo over several decades.

Juan Herreros and the Munch Museum

Many people have criticised the architecture of the new museum, so I took the opportunity to speak to the lead architect, Juan Herreros, of the Spanish architecture practice Estudio Herreros.

Read more: Inside the New Munch Museum in Pictures

We were speaking at the very end of the day so there is a bit of background noise as the museum closed up. Apologies for that, but I hope you'll agree it was still worth grabbing the opportunity to speak.

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A striking architectural statement

Love it or hate it, the new Munch museum has certainly generated a lot of opinions. The finished result has changed significantly from the original winning design, which was chosen more than 12 years ago.

Side view of Oslo Munch museum

At the time, Estudio Herreros was a small architecture firm in Madrid. Founder Juan Herreros graduated in 1985 from the Technical School of Architecture of Madrid. He went on to teach at many prestigious schools in both Spain and the USA.

The most controversial features of the new museum are its height, its tilted top storeys and the facade. Made from recycled, perforated aluminium panels with varying levels of transparency, the facade has come under particular scrutiny.

On the show, we talk about:

  • Munch’s popularity in Spain and worldwide
  • The concept of the museum design
  • How the museum relates to Oslo’s Fjord City project
  • The controversial design choices
  • How it feels to be sitting in the finished museum

I hope you enjoy this interview!

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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