Nationaltheatret Station

The entrance to Nationaltheatret Station features several artworks dating from the expansion completed in 1980. These include sections of a wall installation by Bård Breivik and Ola Enstad (1980), which have been salvaged and reinstalled in the station vestibule. More recent artworks include two 250-metre-long friezes by Anne-Karin Furunes that run along platforms opened in 1999 to serve the airport express train line.

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  • Uten tittel, av Anne-Karin Furunes. Photographer: KORO
  • Inngangen til Nationaltheateret stasjon, av Jernbaneverket.
  • Uten tittel, av Terje Roalkvam.
  • Uten tittel, av Terje Roalkvam.
  • Uten tittel, av Anne-Karin Furunes.
  • Uten tittel, av Anne-Karin Furunes.
  • Uten tittel, av Katrine Giæver.
  • Hel form, Erwin Løffler.
  • Uten tittel, av Bård Breivik og Ola Enstad.
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About the project

About the project

Nationaltheatret Station

About the project

Nationaltheatret Station is located below ground level in central Oslo. The main entrance, which blends into the adjacent urban landscape, is at the foot of the park surrounding the royal palace. The plaza outside the station offers views of Akershus Fortress, the harbour and the open space known as Studenterlunden. There has been a station on this site since 1928, when the original station opened to serve Oslo’s tram network. A major expansion in 1980 added a mainline station to the then metro station. The expansion work coincided with the building of the Oslo Tunnel, which provided a rail link between Skøyen Station and the central station at Oslo S. Recent statistics show that the Nationaltheatret mainline and metro stations serve approximately 35,000 and 25,000 passengers respectively each day. The mainline station was renovated and further expanded in the late 1990s, reopening in 1999 with four tracks and a new main entrance from Ruseløkkveien. Passenger traffic at the station has nearly doubled since the advent of the airport express train to Gardermoen, which stops at Nationaltheatret Station.

In the walkway leading down to the station concourse, passengers encounter striking sections of concrete reliefs on a large expanse of brick wall. These sections have been salvaged from a site-specific artwork by Ola Enstad (NO) and Bård Breivik (NO) for a now-demolished walkway down from Ruseløkkveien that was constructed in connection with the 1980 expansion. Enstad and Breivik created a series of sculptural concrete casts accompanied by mosaic motifs, and also welded small three dimensional elements – such as knots, hands and corkscrews – onto the steel handrail. Elements of this work have now been re-integrated into the walls of the station vestibule.

In close proximity to Enstad and Breivik’s work is Erwin Løffler’s sculpture Hel form [Entire form], which was purchased in 1979 in connection with the construction of the former Abelhaugen Station. Løffler (1922–2012) came to Norway in 1947 as a refugee from Hungary. He is known for the abstract, rounded forms of his bronze and marble sculptures. Two other examples of sculptures by Løffler can be seen at the University of Oslo’s Blindern campus: Delt form [Divided form], which stands outside Eilert Sundts Hus; and Brutt form [Broken form] at Niels Treschows Hus.

A large curved wall dominates the station vestibule. The marble-like polished green surface of the wall and of some nearby pillars is the work of Katrine Giæver (NO), who used a technique known as stucco lustro (Venetian plaster).

When entering the station by the western entrance from Drammensveien or Parkveien, one encounters 69 colourful, vitreous-enamelled steel panels by Terje Roalkvam. The panels with their geometric designs line the walkway down to the old platform. The same shapes are repeated along the walkway down to the new platform, this time screenprinted and sandblasted onto a series of glass surfaces. The western station entrance was awarded the Houen Foundation Prize 2015, with the jury describing Roalkvam’s work as “beautifully integrated into the architecture”. Roalkvam has also been involved in the selection of colours for the rest of the station interior, including the enamelled steel bolts set into the concrete walls.

Anne-Karin Furunes (NO) has created a major work for the new part of the station hall. The bitmap images that comprise her two 250-metre-long friezes appear on 332 perforated stainless-steel panels installed 25 metres underground on both sides of the station hall. On some of the panels the perforations create the effect of varying shades of grey and shadowed surfaces, while on others the onlooker sees faces, bathers, waves, billowing curtains and embroideries, a whirlpool and clouds. The friezes were Furunes’s first major public art project. Subsequently she has created public artworks for Henrik Wergelands Hus at Eidsvoll, Telenor’s new building in Bergen, and St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim.

The art budget for the 1999 refurbishment and expansion of the station was close to NOK 5 million, with funding provided by KORO and the Norwegian National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket). In 2001, Jernbaneverket won the international Brunel Award for the art program at Nationaltheatret Station. The station has also won several other prizes for the way that art and architecture have been integrated at the station and the considered use of materials.



Date completed


Project manager

Dag Wiersholm

Art consultant/Art Committee

Dag Skedsmo
Anne Knutsen


LPO Arkitekter og Design AS

Building owner/developer


Host representative





Accessible for the audience


Art scheme for new government-owned buildings



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