We are developing a unique visitor and experience centre

Photo: Sophie Cordon

Photo: Marcela Cardenas


Our ambition is to develop a unique world class visitor and experience centre, focused on the unique and perfect conditions for preservation in Svalbard and the Arctic region. The Visitor Centre will be an open, attractive and inclusive hub in Longyearbyen, where locals and visitors can learn through unique digital experiences about Svalbard's global significance in:

  • the conservation of the world's seeds (Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Crop Trust and NordGen) – read about the Seedvault here

  • the preservation of the world's irreplaceable information (Arctic World Archive / Piql) – read about the Arctic World Archive here

  • The preservation of Svalbard – how Svalbard has both been transformed and preserved over hundreds of millions of years to become the unique archipelago it is today (Norwegian Natural History Museum)

“The challenge is that it is not possible for visitors to enter the archives and see what is stored”

Photo: Roy Mangersnes


As a first step, in spring 2018, we undertook a conceptual study through creative workshops with national and local stakeholders both in Oslo and in Longyearbyen.
The outcome was a concrete concept for the Visitor Centre, now the basis of a feasibility study that will provide clear and documented deliverables within the study’s three main elements:

  • design and architecture and location in the landscape of the visitor center

  • development and visualisation of visitor experience in the visitor center

  • environmentally friendly and autonomous transport of visitors to the visitor center

The feasibility study will produce a tangible design and visualisation that will inspire visitors, while providing a professional and commercially sound foundation for further planning.

Photo: Björn Klauer

Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen


The Visitor Centre will be filled with innovative, digital and virtual experiences that will be shaped for the individual visitor. The experience will be linked to the unique preservation that Svalbard contributes to. The content providers for the Visitor Center will be:

  • Svalbard Global Seed Vault (The Crop Trust and NordGen) with unique and world-leading expertise in seed conservation - also building a valuable information bank on the seeds

  • Arctic World Archive (located in Mine 3 - an already known world archive that Piql established together with Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani) containing irreplaceable and important information for the world

  • Norwegian Natural History Museum (with Jørn Hurum) offering a special and world-leading insight into Svalbard's geological history and natural history past

“The ambition of the Visitor Centre is highlight the unique environment for preservation in Svalbard and the Arctic region.”

Photo: Marcela Cardenas


Arctic Memory wants to contribute positively to the local community in Svalbard in many respects.
The Visitor Centre will be a center for Arctic conservation that will promote sustainable tourism and experience in Longyearbyen, with new ways of sharing environmental information and knowledge of Svalbard's unique geological and natural history past for residents, children and youth and visitors alike.

Photo: Marcela Cardenas

Photo: Jarle Røssland


Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Arctic World Archive and Svalbard each hold fascinating stories, but these stories are unavailable to the public, packed between fossil layers and stored deep in the permafrost. The Visitor Centre will make these unique stories available in a new and innovative way - in a spectacular centre in a spectacular location!