Oh every time I close my eyes
I see my name in shining lights, yeah
A different city every night
Oh, I, I swear the world better prepare
For when I’m a billionaire
What would the world do without art loving billionaires? Perhaps we would survive just fine. But the universe would be a more boring place without guys like Petter Stordalen, Christian Ringnes, Bill Gates and Christen Sveaas. That’s for sure…
Spanning the winding Randselva river, The Twist is a unique new building which connects two forested riverbanks at Kistefos — Northern Europe’s largest sculpture park. part museum, part bridge, and part sculpture, ‘The Twist’ has been designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and represents the companies’s first project in Norway.
Dramatically torqued at its center, the structure not only allows visitors to cross from one riverbank to the other, but is also capable of hosting an international program of contemporary art exhibitions.
Personally I had read about the opening of the Twist some months ago. Newspapers said that it was one of the most beautiful and striking buildings constructed worldwide in 2019. And it’s situated in the middle of nowhere (sorry Jevnaker…but it is) in Norway ca 1,5 hour drive from Oslo in the direction of Hønefoss. For some years the park had consisted of a sculpture park owned by billionaire and art lover Christen Sveaas, not that different from Christian Ringnes and his sculptures in Ekebergparken in Oslo. But now the Twist had included an interesting architectural attraction.
After seeing photos from the park in the news, I had been curious to visit for a very long time. And when I read about the newly opened Twist, I decided that we had to make a Sunday excursion.
The weather was perfect for a daytrip in October. The sun was shining and autumn colours were still creating beautful surroundings in the park. We were not the only ones who thought that a Sunday trip to Kistefos would be a good idea though. A long line of cars met us after we left the main road. Fortunately the parking guards were in a good mood and had practical sense. They found a place for us even if even the disabled friendly parking at the main entrance were taken.
Because my car was in a bad mood, we had decided to drive with André’s small Golf, which meant that we both had manual wheelchairs. We were curious to see if this was a smart or stupid decision, depending on how hilly it was and the surface of the park.
It probably turned out to be a good idea, although I’m in doubt of what kind of advice I should give others. The park was much more hilly than I expected and some of the hills were unusually steep. In addition the sculptures are spread out over quite a big area.
The biggest challenge however was the surface which was a combination of sand and deep loose gravel/sand, something which would have created big problems for the power chair, especially in the steepest surroundings.
We had brought our assistant, and without her we would probably still be stuck in a pile of gravel – whether we had a manual wheelchair or a powerchair. Thank goodness for independent living and BPA assistance!
Except for the difficult surface, the park was pretty accessible. It had disabled friendly parking at two different entrances, accessible entrance to most of the buildings from what we could see, level entrance to the Twist and a newly built disabled friendly toilets (with a door opener) close to the café area. The only thing that was difficult was to buy a coffee, because the coffee was served from a food truck.
All the paths were doable (no steps), although the hill from the park down to the river and the Twist was very very steep. An alternative would be to turn back and go back through the whole park and enter the Twist from the other side. But then you would miss the river and some of the most stunning sculptures.
Because this is what Kistefos is all about. The sculptures are huge and specially designed to fit into the natural surroundings at Kistefos. It’s all very cool and impressive. If you have been to the Ekeberg park and liked it, you will definitetly love Kistefos.
So my verdict over Kistefos is: If you have a strong assistant or a powerchair that can handle gravel – then give it a try!
You don’t have to be an art lover in particular. Kistefos fits for everyone in all ages – whether you are a fan of art, architecture or beautiful nature. Or if you just need something to do on a sunny Sunday…