Atelier Oslo | AWP Paris covered town square, Sandnes (scroll down to read more) The recent series of 'Norwegian Wood' projects has impressed with its experimental sustainable designs in wood. This innovative open-air stage has become a focal point in the centre of the municipality of Sandnes. The glass roof covers a level, flexible space, creating an acoustic shelter within the open public square - sound is amplified during concerts and background noise is reduced. The semi-transparent roof structure is supported on bunched columns in slender sections of solid, untreated oak reminiscent of a cluster of trees. (September 2008)
a-lab Office building, Oslo (scroll down to read more) The launch of the Barcode city development project beside the new opera in Oslo has caused controversy, and the PwC building is the first in a series of buildings to be erected. The structure has firm roots in Modernism, and fields of coloured glass give life to the facade. With direct access to the Central Station, the building will have a prominent position, both visually and as a connection point. The architectural vision for the project was one of lightness, openness and technological sophistication within the framework of a simple form. ( December 2007)
Photo © Jiri Havran
Brendeland & Kristoffersen kindergarten, Trondheim (scroll down to read more) The city council of Trondheim wisely set aside a part of the city for experimentation with green civic development and architectural innovation (se wallpaper 082). The Svartlamoen art and culture kindergarten is built inside a former car showroom. The original structure is maintained, and three houses located around a central plaza can be found inside the shell of the glass pavilion. With ingenious extras such as an atelier, a stage and a hidden cave under the kitchen bench, this is the kind of creative space you would be happy for your toddler to spend the day in. (August 2007)
Photo © David Grandorge
Helen & Hard playground, Stavanger (scroll down to read more) Norway's exports of oil and natural gas are one of the country's main sources of wealth. So although it might seem as an odd concept for outsiders, it makes a certain kind of sense to build public architecture from disused petroleum industry equipment. The topography of this diverse playground area - popular with parents and toddlers - is a reflection of the geological 3D model of the Troll oil and gas field. The installation - located in the energy industry hub of Stavanger also features equipment recycled from the Frigg field. (April 2008)
Jarmund/Vigsnæs - International School, Oslo (scroll down to read more) Expats residing in Oslo now have a truly inspiring place to send their children to school, should they prefer an English-language education. Oslo International School is a private school with about 500 children from more than 50 different nations, encompassing a kindergarten as well as a primary and secondary school. The diverse character of the school is reflected in the design of a separate pavilion for the smallest children it features a playful façade covered with fibre cement boards in ten different colours. (January 2008)
Jensen & Skodvin Hotel and viewing platform, Valldal (scroll down to read more) Gudbrandsjuvet is a dramatic ravine where a river has formed deep potholes and intricate formations. According to a story from the 1500s, the ravine was named after a man called Gudbrand, who ran off with his new bride and saved himself from his angry pursuers by jumping over the ravine. Gudbrand was declared an outlaw for his deeds, and lived the rest of his life in a stone hut in one of the side-valleys above Gudbrandsjuvet.
Soon you too can follow in his footsteps. The talented Jensen & Skodvin architects have designed a landscape hotel consisting of detached small independent houses with walls in glass. Rooms are extremely private with uninterrupted views - every room gets its own surprising slice of dramatic landscape, always changing with the weather, time of the day and the season. The hotel is a spin-off from the nearby National Tourist Route project, where Jensen & Skodvind designed a viewing platform. (Will open summer 2009)
Jensen & Skodvin viewing platform of the dramatic ravine at Gudbrandsjuvet
The individual cabins that make up the hotel, set to open in the summer
Peter W. Søderman/Barlindhaug Consult Seed vault, Svalbard (scroll down to read more) The science fiction setting of the new seed vault in the remote archipelago of Svalbard disguises the building's higher purpose: it will contain an emergency stock of seeds, to be made freely available for use by gene banks throughout the world, reflecting the very Norwegian characteristic of saving things for a rainy day. If any of these other gene banks should be destroyed by some disaster, or in the event of an acute lack of resources, seeds from Svalbard can be used to replace what has been lost. The front of the building and the top of the facade features a work of art by Dyveke Sanne, using triangles formed from highly reflective, acid proof steel. Together with other elements like dichroic mirrors and prisms, the triangles break up the light and disperse it onto the surroundings in a multitude of different directions.
Photo © Statsbygg/Jaro Hollan
Sverre Fehn Publishing house HQ, Oslo (scroll down to read more) Norways largest publishing house Gyldendal has been located in the block between Universitetsgata and Sehesteds plass since the beginning of the prior century, with a new HQ constructed behind the original 1800s-era façade. Like a true master the late Sverre Fehn, who died in February, demonstrated his skill at working with existing structures - the exterior and interior find their dialogue between the extremely modern and the traditionally picturesque. An overhead lighting construction of sculpturally formed concrete pyramids carries a soft light through the space and into the building.
The interplay between the large space, office areas and the surrounding facades conveys an illuminated openness. The project was finished in co-operation with Inge Hareide and Kristoffer Moe Bøksle at KIMA arkitektur KIMA arkitektur.
Photo © Dag Alveng
Sverre Fehn Museum, Oslo (scroll down to read more) In designing Oslos new architectural arena the late Sverre Fehn created another piece of an ongoing cultural legacy. The older building at Bankplassen 3 from 1830 is a significant piece of Norwegian architectural history, designed by Christian Heinrich Grosch, the man responsible for many of the most important, official buildings erected when Oslo became Norway's capital in 1814. Today it is felt that the new exhibition space for architecture at Bankplassen is an appropriately powerful juxtaposition of classicism and modernistic architecture, an encounter between Fehn and Grosch, the most influential Norwegian architects from the 19th century and our own time. (March 2008)
Photo © Statsbygg/Jaro Hollan
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