The Nobel Peace Center was opened in 2005 by HRH King Harald V on 11 June 2005, many years after the idea was initially thought of.
Geir Lundestad was appointed director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in 1990, and it did not take long before the idea of creating a museum for the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo was born. Nevertheless it was not until November 2000 that the Norwegian parliament decided to ask “the government, in collaboration with the Nobel Committee, to establish a peace prize center in the old railway station Vestbanen, opening 7 June 2005”. The Nobel Peace Center finally opened on 11 June, as a part of the centenary celebration of Norway’s independence from Sweden. The royal families of Norway and Sweden both attended the ceremony, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai was the guest of honor.
Vestbanen was a railway station until 1989, and the building is listed, which was a challenge when it came to converting the building into a museum. The world renowned British architect David Adjaye used what he calls “spacial manipulation” and the clever use of surfaces, colors and materials to transform the interior of the center. The old structures have been preserved behind the new walls, and you can see the original wooden ceiling in some of the rooms.
Over 1, 6 million have visited the Nobel Peace Center since it opened in 2005. We have staged over 60 exhibitions, including ten Peace Prize exhibitions, and we have welcomed numerous Nobel Peace Prize laureates and world leaders. In June 2015 we celebrated our tenth anniversary with a public open-air festival and an official celebration, attended by HRH King Harald, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Peace Prize laureates Shirin Ebadi and Kailash Satyarthi.