Wessels gate 15
In 1998 OBOS – Oslo Cooperative Housing Cooperation – offered Norsk Folkemuseum Wessels gate 15, an old three-storey brick building from down town Oslo. Wessels gate 15 was built in 1865, and was very typical for the residential quarters in the older parts of Oslo. Wessels gate is situated between the West End and the East End of Oslo and used to be an area occupied be the middle class, or rather petit bourgeoisie, mostly shopkeepers, craftsmen and employees with some upper middle class and some working class elements. The museum accepted the offer, and when the building was demolished in March 1999, five containers of building parts were transported to the museum. The reerection of the building began in 2000 and was finished in 2001. The same year the first flat – or home – in the building was furnished.
When the project is finally finish in 2009 the building will contain eight homes in addition to a wine monopoly store and three exhibitions. At the present six of these homes are completed, a seventh will be ready in end of May.
The purpose of the reerection of Wessels gate 15 at Norsk Folkemuseum is not primary the preservation of an old building, but the opportunity to tell stories of daily life, living conditions and interior styles in Oslo from the late 19th century up to the present.
In our opinion the Open Air Museum is an exhibition, in principle nor different from other exhibition. The interior are not simply constructed or reconstructed homes, but narratives with a defined purpose and a specific perspective. Each home in Wessels gate 15 tells a different story from different times, presenting people of contrasting social and cultural backgrounds.
The Doll's House – 1879
A Norwegian Home in a New Age – 1905
Modern Living – 1935
The Cleaning Lady’s Home – 1950
Teak, TV and Teenagers – 1965
The Architect’s Home – 1979
The Student’s Bedsitter – 1982
A Pakistani Home in Norway – 2002
Living in the City
Petroleum – protest – pop
The Painter and Decorater
Wessels gate 15 is a gift from