Norway is a Scandinavian nation with rich natural landscapes such as forest, mountains, coastal areas and the presence of glaciers. Over the years, the Architecture of Norway became even more diverse with various influences from its Viking history, climatic environment, and cultural shift. Following many different movements of the era, Norway has a wide range of buildings that records the architectural endeavors attempted by its architects, including the Art Nouveau style and Modernism styles. Today, many Norwegian architects have also created masterpieces by carefully considering new trends such as using aesthetics to improve the well-being of inhabitants and the need to mitigate environmental impacts.
Norway has also created its form of architectural style and is also a leading leader in producing sustainable timber buildings that are aesthetically pleasing for both private and public uses. They appreciate the beauty of timber and its beneficial properties to its environment and people. Their architecture blends seamlessly with its environment using new and old construction methods. And because of their innovative approach to architecture, many local architects gained international fame for their works found within Norway and all over the world. This article will be introducing 10 Norwegian Architects and their famous works produced over the years.
Geir Grung started his architectural firm in 1950. When Grung started his architecture career, Norway was undergoing industrialization in building the construction sector. Therefore, his projects involve many hydro-power developments. He was a modernist and was part of an architect group known as Team X (Also known as Team 10 or Team Ten).
He also actively joined the International congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM). Røldal Kraftverk’s office and workshop building and Tysso II Kraftverk are some of his works.
2. Jan Inge Hovig
Jan Inge Hovig oversaw the reconstruction of Narvik in 1947 as a city architect. After establishing his practice and forming various partnerships with other architects, he has done many projects. At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, he represented Norway at the Architecture Exhibition. His famous work includes the Arctic Cathedral (Tromsøysund Kirke) that was completed in 1965. The church was mainly constructed using cast-in-place aluminium-coated concrete panels.
3. Kirsten Sand
Kirsten Sand was the first woman to graduate from the Norwegian Institute of Technology with full technical competence in Architecture. Until World War two, she established her own architecture company which primarily focuses on designing private homes. But after the war, she participated in various reconstruction projects of destroyed properties in Norway from 1952 to 1966. Her experimental house The Kirsten Sand House was designed with light wooden platforms to ensure little construction materials were used. It was a crucial and cost-effective feature for households then, especially after the war.
4. Kjell Kosberg
Kjell Kosberg established his architecture firm Kosbergs Arkitektkontor in 1986. In 2002, he designed the Scandic Seilet Hotel located in Molde, Norway. Formally known as the Rica Seilet Hotel, the Scandic Seilet infrastructure is the tallest hotel in the town. It is also a popular local attraction with various facilities for the visitors to enjoy while viewing the scenic view of the Moldefjorden.
5. Kjetil Trædal Thorsen
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen is the founder of the Architecture company Snøhetta. He was in charge of many projects in Norway and worldwide. One of his most recent projects is The Oslo Opera house. Also known as The Norwegian Opera and Ballet, the arts complex was completed in 2007 after Snøhetta won the competition entry with four diagrams showcasing its basic design concept “The Wave Wall”. The most outstanding feature is the roof also acts as a plaza, inviting people to enjoy the Oslo panoramic scenery from above. The final Contemporary Style building won various international awards and prizes such as the World Architecture Festival Cultural Award in 2008 and Mies van der Rohe award in 2009.
6. Knut Hjeltnes
Knut Hjeltnes graduated from the Norwegian Institute of Technology. He is also an appointed professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. His works include House Sømme, Weekend House Straume and Summer House Grøgaard and Slaattelid.
7. Kristin Jarmund
Kristin Jarmund started her architectural studio Kristin Jarmund Arkitekter in 1985. Her projects are known to simplify complex issues with form and function. The use of design language is coherent as she takes note of the color used and paid attention to details. Therefore, many of her works are classified as “new functionalism”. Another factor that is considered in her works is the emphasis given to interior spaces. The term she spoke of “Interior Façade” refers to equal importance for both the interior design of spaces and the exterior façade of the building. Her works include Nydalen Metro Station and the Råholt Secondary School.
8. Lilla Hansen
Lilla Georgine Hansen was the first female architect in Norway. Before she and started her architectural firm in 1912, she had her internship with Architects Halfdan Berle and Martin Nyrop. She also designed many villas, hospitals, and student accommodations for women. Her famous work includes the Vacation Home on Nesøya in Asker for Norwegian Physician and Professor of Pediatrics Theodor Frølich and Trosterudveien 10 in Oslo for Lil and Nils Roede.
9. Nils Slaatto and Kjell Lund
Nils Slaatto is one of the most influential and famous architects in Norway. He has developed Norwegian architecture with his fellow graduate Kjell Lund. After winning a competition entry together, the architects opened their architectural firm Lund & Slaatto Arkitekter AS in 1958 with a long partnership of thirty years. Together, they built many infrastructures such as the St Magnus Catholic Church. The modern construction of St Magnus Catholic Church illuminates spaces using continuous skylights in a slit form while maintaining the formality of the traditional church rooms.
10. Sverre Fehn
Sverre Fehn studied under Architect Arne Korsmo during his time at Oslo School of Architecture and Design. He won the competition for the Museum Building for the Sandvig Collections at Maihaugen in Lillehammer with Architect Geir Grung in 1949. Later in 1950, he joined Progressive Architects Group Oslo, Norway (PAGON) to promote and create modern architecture led by Arne Korsmo. He moved to Paris to work for Jean Prouvé and met Le Corbusier during his time there. In 1954, he opened his practice in Oslo, Norway. His projects include the Norwegian Glacier Museum and the Aukrust Centre.