Fornebu to acquire immense aquarium

Want to build northern Europe's largest aquarium at FornebuWant to build northern Europe's largest aquarium at Fornebu.Photo: Haptic Architects/MIR / NTB scanpix

Fornebu may acquire Northern Europe’s largest aquarium

The residential group Selvaag plans to build Northern Europe’s largest aquarium at Fornebu outside Oslo. If everything goes according to plan, the aquarium will be ready in 2022-23.


On Tuesday, the plans for the big project were announced. The goal is to build an aquarium of more than 10,000 square meters, which will contain over seven million liters of water.

“For many years, we have had ambitions to build an aquarium in the Oslo area,” says the Selvaag heir Olav H. Selvaag to NTB.

The idea got reignited after Selvaag bought a town development area at Fornebu last year with space for a couple of thousand homes. Parts of the plot is running along the seafront and will be a nice location for an aquarium, it is believed.

“Here is a unique opportunity. As long as politicians are behind us, we can probably build this, ” said CEO Baard Schumann.

Major attraction

The hope is that the aquarium will be a tourist attraction that can host hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

The aquarium The Blue Planet in Copenhagen has one million visitors a year, and Selvaag believes that the ambitions for a Norwegian aquarium should not be far behind.

“We think there will be some attractions you should visit when you come to Oslo: Holmenkollen, Bygdøymuseene and a trip to the aquarium,” says Schumann.

It is too early to estimate what it will cost, but Schumann indicates that the aquarium in Copenhagen at the time cost 700 million Danish kroner – which amounted to about 800 million Norwegian kroner.

The project is still at an early stage. The plan is to start the project in 2020 and for a construction phase of two to three years. In Selvaag, it is strongly believed that the politicians in Bærum will give the green light.

Proud and happy Mayor 

The signals so far are positive. Bærum’s Mayor Lisbeth Hammer Krog, believes that the aquarium fits in well with the municipality’s plans.

“I am proud and happy on behalf of Fornebu and the whole of Bærum, to get a national attraction as Northern Europe’s largest aquarium,” said Krog, indicating that the location is ideal for proximity to the upcoming subway as well as the fast-ferry dock.

Municipal Director of Communities, Arthur Wøhni, currently sees no reason why the plans should not be realised. The municipality is going to look at land use, roads, parking, relations with neighbors and other matters. Part of the building is planned to be in the sea underwater, and this will require extra attention in the regulation plan.

“We think it’s a very exciting idea, and the location has opportunities and potential,” he told NTB.

Architectural jewel

Selvaag wants the building itself to attract visitors to the area. An initial drawing has been prepared which Selvaag describes as “an architectural jewel.” The building will melt into the surroundings.

“It’s going to be a beautiful and low-key attention building adapted to the Norwegian archipelago and reflecting the transition between land and sea,” he says.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today