Art & Architecture + [Snøhetta]

Kirsten Flagstads Plass 1, 0150 Oslo, Norvegia: National Opera And Ballet by SnØHETTA

Unusual Architecture the government wished that the operahouse should be a monumental building which would mark Norway as a cultural nation as well as highlighting the social and cultural importance of the Norwegian Opera Ballet.

Unusual Architecture the building should be a landmark within architecture, construction, use of materials and technical solutions.

Unusual Architecture Four diagrams, which were part of the entry, explain the building’s basic concept.

Unusual Architecture ”The wave wall” Opera and ballet are young artforms in Norway. These artforms evolve in an international setting.

Unusual Architecture the Bjørvika peninsula is part of a harbour city, which is historically the meeting point with the rest of the world.

Unusual Architecture the dividing line between the ground ’here’ and the water ‘there’ is both a real and a symbolic threshold.

Unusual Architecture This threshold is realised as a large wall on the line of the meeting between land and sea, Norway and the world, art and everyday life. This is the threshold where the public meet the art.

Unusual Architecture ”The Factory” A detailed brief was developed as a basis for the competition.

Unusual Architecture Snøhetta proposed that the production facitities of the operahouse should be realised as a self contained, rationally planned ‘factory’.

Unusual Architecture This factory should be both functional and flexible during the planning phase as well as in later use.

Unusual Architecture This flexibility has proved to be very important during the planning phase: a number of rooms and room groups have been adjusted in collaboration with the end user.

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These changes have improved the buildings functionality without affecting the architecture.

Unusual Architecture ”The Carpet” the competion brief stated that the operahouse should be of high architectural quality and should be monumental in it’s expression.

Unusual Architecture This carpet has been given an articulated form, related to the cityscape. Monumentality is achieved through horizontal extension and not verticality.

Unusual Architecture One idea stood out as a legitimation of monumentality: the concept of togetherness, joint ownership, easy and open access for all.

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To achieve a monumentality based on these notions we wished to make the opera accessible in the widest possible sense, by laying out a ‘carpet ’ of horizontal and sloping surfaces on top of the building.

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This carpet has been given an articulated form, related to the cityscape.

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Monumentality is achieved through horizontal extension and not verticality. the building connects city and fjord, urbanity and landscape.

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The conceptual basis of the competition, and the final building, is a combination of this three elements – the wave wall, the factory and the carpet.

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The operahouse is the first element in the planned transformation of this area of the city.

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In 2010 the heavy traffic beside the building will be moved into a tunnel under the fjord.

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Due to its size and aesthetic expression, the operahouse will stand apart from other buildings in the area.

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The marble clad roofscape forms a large public space in the landscape of the city and the fjord.

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The public face of the operahouse faces west and north – while at the same time, the building’s profile is clear from a great distance from the fjord to the south.

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Viewed from the Akershus castle and from the grid city the building creates a relationship between the fjord and the Ekerberg hill to the east. Seen from the central station and Chr. Fredriks sq. the opera catches the attention with a falling which frames the eastern edge of the view of the fjord and its islands.

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The building connects city and fjord, urbanity and landscape.

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The materials, with their specific weight, colour, texture and temperature, have been vital to the design of the building.

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It is the materials which form the defining elements of the spaces.

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It is the meeting of the materials which articulates the architecture through varied detail and precision.

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Project: New Operahouse in OsloLocation: Oslo, NorwayTypology: OperahouseScope: Arch, L Arch, Int, Planning: Full ContractSize: 38,500 m2Client: Ministry of Church and Cultural AffairsSchedule: 1st prize int. comp. Built 2008

7.1/10 (078)