In 1947 the Norwegian explorer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) led the Kon-Tiki expedition — an 8,000-kilometer journey on a balsa tree raft across the Pacific Ocean, from South America to the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia – to prove that civilizations of old were capable of long distances by sea.
The firm Snøhetta, founded by Craig Dykers, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, and Christoph Kapeller, will be redesigning and enlarging the museum that opened in 1950 to show the public the Kon-Tiki raft, and later other vessels and artifacts that Heyerdahl used in his nautical adventures.
In dialogue with the existing triangular construction, the centerpiece of the expansion – which holds an auditorium – leans to face the sky. The wood-clad wedge shape is designed to evoke a boat’s sail in the wind.
The new museum is expected to open in 2025.