steven holl architects: knut hamsun center opens steven holl architects: knut hamsun center opens
aug 05, 2009

steven holl architects: knut hamsun center opens

the knut hamsun center in hamaroey, norway courtesy steven holl architects

crown princess mette-marit has opened norway’s first museum dedicated to nobel laureate knut hamsun who won the nobel prize in literature in 1920, and died in 1952. his works include ‘hunger’ and ‘mysteries.’

over 5,000 visitors attended the ceremony at hamaroey, 320 kilometers north of the arctic circle on tuesday, the 150th anniversary of hamsun’s birth. guests who attended included american architect steven holl, whose design of the museum won the progressive architecture award in 1996.

initially the 142 million kroner (23.5 million USD) project was delayed by arguments over hamsun’s nazi sympathies during 15 years of planning. the government eventually allocated the funds in 2007.

the knut hamsun center courtesy steven holl architects

the museum includes exhibition areas, a library and reading room, a cafe and an auditorium. the concept for the museum is ‘building as a body,’ creating a battleground of invisible forces. the tarred black wood exterior skin is characteristic of the great wooden stave norse churches. the spine of the building body is the central elevator, providing handicapped and freight access to all parts of the building. at the roof garden the long grass reflects the traditional norwegian sod roofs in a different way.

location of the knut hamsun center courtesy steven holl architects

model of the knut hamsun center courtesy steven holl architects

rendering of the interior courtesy steven holl architects

early sketches of the knut hamsun center courtesy steven holl architects

early sketches of the knut hamsun center courtesy steven holl architects

  • I’m looking forward to seeing Mr. Holl receiving the Pritzker. He’s one of those architects who work really hard toward a deep belief, in his case, phenomenology. He didn’t let go and give it all up to the 3D world. All the best.

    JC says:
  • holl lost most of his bearings while doing those monstrosities in china. a gimmick architect.

    ron says:
  • From a builders perspective this would have been a fun project.

    JAY says:

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