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Ordrupgaard’s new subterranean extension is now ready to welcome visitors in their thousands into the depths that contain one of the finest collections of French art in Northern Europe. Snøhetta’s building was inaugurated today in the presence of HRH The Crown Prince and Joy Mogensen, Minister for Culture.

Today, Ordrupgaard’s new extension was inaugurated amid festive celebrations in the presence of HRH The Crown Prince, Joy Mogensen, Minister for Culture as well as representatives of the foundations and benefactors who have financed this fine building.

The new building, which invites guests to take part in an art adventure fourteen metres below ground level, has been underway for several years on the site of the state-run art museum Ordrupgaard in Charlottenlund just north of Copenhagen. The Norwegian design and architect firm Snøhetta has designed the new extension at Ordrupgaard in collaboration with the consulting engineers COWI and EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører.

Joy Mogensen, Minister for Culture, says:

“Snøhetta have created a fascinating and beautiful building whose architecture is comparable to top-end international museums. The subterranean gallery spaces are filled with works by artists including Gauguin, Monet, and Degas. These new spaces will provide a framework to show even more art from the Ordrupgaard collections for everyone to enjoy while enabling the museum to enhance the narrative embodied in them. The beautiful galleries have a stringent and crisp appearance brightened by the oakwood in acknowledgement of the surrounding nature and woodland. I’d like to warmly thank everyone who has worked on this building and achieved such a fine result and I’d like to extend special words of thanks to the foundations and sponsors for their support”

The new extension is financed by A. P. Møller Fonden, Augustinus Fonden, the philanthropic association Realdania, Det Obelske Familiefond, and Knud Højgaards Fond.


French art in a beautiful setting

For a long time, Ordrupgaard has been anticipating the inauguration of the extension and new setting for the museum’s collection of French impres-
sionism and everyone at the museum has been very busy since the end of June when the internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Tal R’s exhibition Tal R – Home Alone opened.

Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark, museum director, Ordrupgaard, says: 

‘We’re delighted to be able to reopen Ordrupgaard’s valuable collection of French art in a supreme new setting – truly a work in itself. The realisation of Ordrupgaard’s new building was made possible thanks to generous donations from foundations and benefactors. And we’re grateful that it’s now possible to show the collection in its entirety while, at the same time, safeguarding it for the benefit of future generations. Ordrupgaard’s new building elegantly embraces the history embodied in this place, opening up new opportunities for the benefit of all.’


The new building links Ordrupgaard as a whole, leading museum visitors round the collections in a circular movement, forming a noble unification
with the architect Zaha Hadid’s building from 2005. The people from Snøhetta are proud that the building is now ready to welcome visitors in the five new subterranean galleries.  

Snøhetta’s founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen says:

‘The Ordrupgaard Art Museum is a beautiful and solid institution that we are very proud to work with. Through its innovative yet subdued design, the new extension and its exhibition spaces allow for a circular movement through Ordrupgaard, creating a continuous movement through the museum’s rich collection and lush gardens. The design further lives up to the highest international standards when it comes to exhibition design and art conservation and display, providing a comfortable and intuitive museum journey that is accessible for all.’ 


The new extension opens to the public tomorrow, Saturday 14 August, from 11.00 until 17.00. 

Facts about the Snøhetta building


The new extension functions as a new entrance to Ordrupgaard and the roof of the subterranean building is a sculptural steel structure with a surface finish that uniquely refracts the light and the sky. Consequently, the working title of the building was the ‘Heavenly Garden’. 


The extension is financed as follows: DKK 65.2 million from A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til almene Formaal; DKK 32.2 million from Augustinus Fonden; DKK 26.1 million from the philanthropic association Realdania; DKK 7.5 million from Det Obelske Familiefond, and DKK 500,000 from Knud Højgaards Fond.


The exhibition area of the five new subterranean gallery spaces totals 823 sq. metres while the new floor space totals approximately 1800 sq. metres. Further, a new impressive staircase tower has been built to bring museum visitors to the surface from the depth below. Besides the new building, an energy upgrade project has also been completed for the purpose of reducing Ordrupgaard’s overall energy costs. 


Snøhetta has designed buildings including the Oslo Opera House, Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, and the National September 11 Memorial Museum & Pavilion in New York, USA. 


The consortium Juul & Nielsen and Barslund I/S is the main
contractor for the project, HSM Industri supplied the sculptural steel construction, and G4S is responsible for the security installations at the museum. The cost of the construction and energy upgrade totals DKK 131.5 million, financed by foundations and benefactors. 


Learn more about the project from Snøhetta


Learn more about the project from Ordrupgaard


Learn more about project from Slots- og Kulturstyrelsen 

Further information:

Ann-Sophie Lignell,
head of communications and marketing,, tel.: +45 31 31 97 92


Julie Skogheim, press officer,, tel.: +47 930 25 867 

The Palaces and Culture Agency:

Press telephone: +45 22 61 19 95

Paul Gauguin, Bonjour, Monsieur Gauguin, 1889. Oil on canvas, 99,5 x 74 cm. National Gallery Prague. Foto © National Gallery Prague 2021