In 2006, Per Grieg Senior got in touch with the mayor of Os municipality, Terje Søviknes, to present his idea of building an art museum in Os. The art museum would house Per Grieg Senior's art collection, making it available to the general public. To house such a collection, the building would have to be spectacular, preferably have a waterfront location and represent a complete innovation in terms of traditional art museums. Per Grieg Senior and the Grieg Foundation wanted to build a world-class art museum in Os!
This initiative taken by Per Grieg Senior gave birth to a comprehensive project for the local authorities. They took contact with regional, national and international cultural groups, challenging them to make a list of requirements for such a project. The original idea of an art museum covering some 1,000 square metres and costing around NOK 30 million gradually evolved into a multi-functional art and cultural centre covering 5,800 square metres and with a cost of approximately NOK 200 million. The firm of architects, Grieg Arkitekter, represented by Andreas Grieg along with consultants Harald Lekven and Geir Kragseth, played central roles in the work on the pilot project.
Two years later, on 18th December 2008, the municipal council in Os unanimously agreed on the historical resolution to build a combined art and cultural centre in Os, on the small promontory known as Mobergsneset. Oseana Art and Cultural Centre was born.
As early as 24th April 2009, construction work started at Mobergsneset. A cooperation agreement was signed with Os Sjøfront AS so that surplus materials removed from the plot of land could be used to build a new breakwater in Os harbour. Stracon AS, represented by Magnar Eide, received the contract to manage the project during construction. A Building Committee was set up to take on principal responsibility for the building project, with Terje Søviknes as committee leader, along with Per Grieg Senior, Karl Ole Midtbø and Geir Engelsen.
With a number of contractors working on the project, the building was completed after two years and the official opening ceremony took place on 17 June 2011.
The centre is financed both privately and publicly, with funding from Os municipality, Hordaland County Council, the Grieg Foundation, businesses which have joined the Oseana “guild” and other private donors.
Oseana Art and Cultural Centre is unique in Norway. This is the very first combined art and cultural centre to be built, with the scenic backdrop of a West Norwegian fjord and mountains. Oseana is a stunning and unique blend of art, culture, fine dining and the great outdoors. With its ground-breaking architecture, universal design and energy efficiency, Oseana truly represents a new generation of cultural centre.