It’ll be a scream. The historic Oslo estate of expressionist painter Edvard Munch is getting a Snøhetta-designed neighbor—if the government doesn’t stop its construction first. Commissioned by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, the “House to Die In” looks a bit like a menacing shard of black glass propped up by white, animal-shaped columns. The New York Times called it a “crystalline U.F.O.”
The building’s architects have designed everything from the new SFMOMA expansion to the Times Square revamp, and consider this project a worthy combination of Melgaard’s art and creativity and their own power for architectural expression. The home will have everything from an inflatable “sex pillow” to a room suspended from the ceiling designed to disorient visitors.
So what’s the big deal? Even though Edvard Munch’s original house was torn down decades ago, artistic pilgrims still visit and live at the estate—which has been turned into an artist’s colony—and opponents argue that the Melgaard building mars the landscape Munch painted.
“This is the only place where Munch lived and worked for 30 years,” painter and resident Halvard Haugerud told the New York Times. “We just want to keep what’s left of Munch.”
Norway’s authority for architectural preservation is now reviewing the home’s plans to decide whether or not to grant a permit for the project to move forward. Then it will need approval from city council and a buildings department.