‘Čoarvemátta’: a new cultural hub for the sámi people


Two years ago, the Norwegian Governmental Building Agency, Statsbygg, launched an initiative for a new shared cultural and educational facility in northern Norway. This new complex would be part of the Sámi National Theater Beaivváš and Sámi High School and Reindeer Husbandry School — two major institutions located in Sápmi, traditionally inhabited by the Sámi people. On this occasion, local practice 70°N arkitektur invited Snøhetta and Sámi artist and architect Joar Nango to team up for this competition, resulting in the Čoarvemátta proposal which was announced as the winning entry by Statsbygg in June 2021. 

this proposed cultural facility in norway celebrates indigenous crafts & customs
Čoarvemátta facility in Norway | all visuals © 70°N arkitektur, Snøhetta, and Joar NAngo



spotlighting and honoring norway’s indigenous culture 


Spanning 6,900 sqm, the Čoarvemátta facility proposal by 70°N arkitektur (here), artist Joar Nango, and the Snøhetta team will serve as a co-location that reinforces the existing institutions’ cultural identity and position in Norway. More specifically, the facility will host activities related to reindeer husbandry, duodji, culture, art, and storytelling.


Gathering all functions under a generous roof, creating robust and spacious rooms, we aim to facilitate synergies between building and users, theater and school, and architecture and landscape. The vision of the project is to interpret Sámi architecture with references from crafts, materials, and nature. The building’s curved lines and materiality will make it a natural part of the surrounding landscape, avoiding sharp angles breaking with the landscape’s natural shapes,‘ shares the team. 

this proposed cultural facility in norway celebrates indigenous crafts & customs
curving lines and robust materiality evoking Sámi architecture



The vestibule is central to the building and a natural meeting point. Its curved lines, exposed wooden beams, and skylight are inspired by the lavvu’s traditional architecture. The vestibule will be well suited for activities such as duodji, cooking, or theater plays. From the vestibule, the building stretches into three different directions, adapting visually and functionally to the landscape while housing a wide range of facilities,’ concludes the trio. 

this proposed cultural facility in norway celebrates indigenous crafts & customs
a new hub dedicated to reindeer husbandry, duodji, culture, art, and storytelling


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project info:


name: Čoarvemátta 

program: Cultural and educational facility 

location: Kautokeino/Guovdageaidnu, Norway

client: Statsbygg, The Norwegian Governmental Building Agency 

project team: 70°N arkitektur | @70n_arkitektur (architects), Snøhetta | @snohetta (architects),

Joar Nango | @joarnango (artist and architect) 

collaborator & contractor: Econor

project period: 2020-2024

area: 6,900 sqm 

status: ongoing