Planning a visitor centre at the Millennium Site

The first and most obvious element to consider when planning a visitor centre is to choose the right location. Was the building to be established at the original site in Eivindvik, or at the Millennium site? The consideration for the original site not being further altered brought on the decision to plan the visitor centre at the Millennium site. But, being a site of great importance as a cultural heritage site itself, great consideration had to go into where and how the centre would be placed also at the “new” thing site.

The process was greatly helped by the process of developing Site Management Guidelines within the  THING Project, stressing the need for great care to the landscape at both sites. It was especially clear that there was a need for stricter regulations of the old thing site, as the landscape (being the municipality centre) was under constant pressure of being altered. This brought on a regulation process which included considerations for the site in the body of plans for the original site that was initially lacking.

Planning the exhibition and functions in the centre itself was further helped by the “Interpretation guidelines” document developed by the THING Project. The Gulating legacy is an intangible cultural heritage. This poses a challenge when conveying it’s history as traditionally museums tend to have a body of artefacts to display and interpret. Gulatinget has resulted in our legal system, our collection of laws and our political system. It has left us with a site with heritage objects from the same era, and a code of law, but the institution itself is a part of history that doesn’t have a range of objects for display. How does one visualise, convey, interpret and bring to life the importance of this institution, virtually without any artifacts? The answer is; VIRTUALLY!