Beyond this, footwear, fashion accessories and homeware are presented against a backdrop of curving shelves and mirrors, designed to represent the ice of Niflheim, also known as the “mist world”. The first floor is conceived as a middle ground between the cold lower level and the warm upper floor. A cafe is located on this level, and the designers also plan to offer access to a landscaped roof terrace. Photography is by Ketil Jacobsen. The story tells of a primordial being made from ice and fire, who had to be killed for the world to be created. It is described by the brand as “a curated universe of fashion, art, interior, and design”. The designers used each of these levels to represent a different part of the mythic Scandinavian tale. Dark metal continues throughout the space and walls are painted black to recreate Muspelheim, the realm of fire. A glass bridge spans two sections of the floor, allowing customers to look down into a 12-metre-high exhibition space. “Different expressions meet on a variety of platforms in a gathered yet schizophrenic expression,” said a statement from Snøhetta, who also recently contributed to the design of Norway’s new banknotes. “The ambition was to create a universe based on the saga about YME that would take Oslo and Norway out to the rest of the world.”
A 25-metre-long wall of sculpted pine forms the ground floor entrance, designed to represent the coming together of 12 rivers in Ginnungagap – the void that existed before the manifestation of the universe. This prompted a series of interiors that transition from an icy cave to a blackened emptiness.