A national treasure, restored and modernized

12/19/2018 9:38 AM CET

Across from the Royal Palace and Parliament House sits Nationalmuseum, Sweden’s museum of art and design. In 1866, Nationalmuseum opened at this grand location and over the next 150 years became an artistic treasure known throughout Europe.

National museum, Stockholm

But in all that time, a major renovation was never done. In 2008, the Swedish government decided to restore and modernize the museum, aiming to display more of the museum's collection of some 700,000 objects and meet current demands for security, climate control, safety and accessibility. A careful balance was needed between preserving the building's heritage while adapting it to new requirements.

Skanska was the general contractor, undertaking activities that were both exacting and extensive. Rock was delicately blasted away beneath the museum to create public areas, technical system spaces and a kitchen. Wires, pipes and ducts were inserted into floors with only millimeters to spare. The facade was repaired with new stones blended in from the original quarry. Perhaps most noticeably, windows that had been covered by masonry or darkened were cleared and updated with modern glass, restoring sunlight to the galleries while helping conserve energy.

On October 13, 2018, Nationalmuseum re-opened in a ceremony led by HM King Carl XVI. Both visitors and artwork now have an improved experience.