Posts tagged with "Norway":

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Pictorial> Inside the revamped UN Security Council Chamber

Wednesday afternoon, AN stepped inside the United Nations Security Council Chamber to see how the global institution had spruced the place up. No, we didn't just walk in there—you can't do that; it's the UN. We were invited by the Royal Norwegian Consulate. Anyway, after a six-year renovation, which was part of the UN's larger Capital Master Plan to renovate the entire East River campus, the truly awe-inspiring space has been returned to its original, mid-century glory. The chamber was gutted, upgraded, and then put back together with a few 21st Century bells and whistles thrown in—out with the ashtrays and in with the outlets! The Security Council Chamber was originally designed by Norwegian architect Arnstein Arneberg and given to the UN as a gift by the Norwegians in 1952. Every aspect of the Security Council Chamber reminds you that it is a Very Important Room. Let’s start with the iconic horseshoe table which is topped with placards and perfectly angled pencils at each seat. A gavel is positioned at the center of the table to mark the acting president's prime spot. Around the ambassadors' seats are the color-coded chairs: blue for advisors, red for member states, and green for visitors and members of the press. The chamber's high walls are covered in a wool Damask wallpaper. If that didn’t drive the point home that this is a Very Important Room, then direct your attention to the massive oil canvas where a phoenix is rising from the ashes. That mural is surrounded by marble. And that marble is bookended by heavy, detailed curtains. Originally, the curtains were left open to provide views of the East River, but since the table is shaped like a horseshoe, light was unevenly distributed on the Security Council members. “The people who were facing East got better seating because the sunlight would stream in and they would look happy,” said Michael Adlerstein, the Assistant Secretary General of the UN and Executive Director of its Capital Master plan. “The other people did not, they were in shadows and looked evil.” The natural light also started causing problems for this new-fangled technology called "television." Ultimately, it was decided to close the curtains and bring in more artificial light. With this recent renovation, the UN set out to make the chamber more energy efficient and increase security measures while not compromising any of the original design elements. To achieve that tricky goal, the space was reduced to its concrete shell, asbestos and contaminates were removed, new heating and cooling systems were installed, and measures were taken to fortify the space against a possible explosion. With all of those improvements in place, the room was reassembled with a few cosmetic changes—seats were reupholstered, marble was washed, the mural was cleaned, and tapestries and fabrics were scrubbed or recreated. Adlerstein said that, at the end of the renovation, the Security Council Chamber hadn't changed "by one iota.” Of course, a lot has changed in recent years, but all of it has been successfully hidden away in this Very Important Room. For more on the renovation, check out the video below the from the Royal Norwegian Consulate General New York
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Memory Wounded: How Norway is Remembering the Utøya Massacre

It has been close to three years since a gunman detonated a bomb in Oslo and then stormed a small summer camp off the coast of Norway, killing 77 people and cementing a record as the worst mass shooting in modern memory. The Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg recently won a competition, Memorial Sites After 22 July, to create an official memorial at the sites of the 2011 Norwegian massacres. Dahlberg was unanimously chosen by a group that included representatives of the Labour party and victim support groups. He beat three hundred other entrants including former Turner Prize winner Johnathan Deller. Two memorials will be opened on July 22, 2015—the fourth anniversary of the attacks—with an amphitheater to come at a later date. Dahlberg's design focuses on a memory wound. The designer sliced a 12-foot-wide slit into the Sørbråten peninsula, which faces the island of Utøya where Breivik killed 69 people. It marks a "symbolic wound" in the landscape. The designer was inspired to create this "wound" after visiting the site. "I noticed how different the feeling was of walking outside in nature, compared to the feeling of walking through the rooms of the main building," he explained in a statement. "The experience of seeing the vacant rooms and the traces of extreme violence brought me—and others around me—to a state of profound sadness." But, outside, things felt different, as though nature was already in regeneration. "Although we stood directly on the very place where many people had lost their lives, nature had already begun to obscure all traces," he said.

He came up with an idea rather than building a traditional monument he would focus on nature itself by creating 70-foot-wide gap carved out of the island, separating the headland from the main island.

"The design physically relates to the interruption that occurred in the everyday life flow of Norwegian society," he said. "Yet it is indeed everyday life that must carry on."

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Mo Beach Mo Benches: Norwegian Firm Crafts Waterfront Plan Along Fjord Coastline

Norwegian firm Arkitektgruppen Cubus AS has conjured up a subtle design intervention for a small stretch of Norway's fjord coastline. Located in Mo i Rana, a town North of the studio's Bergen headquarters, the plan reshapes portions of the waterfront through the placement of modular seating, shelters, and walkways. The components of the scheme are to be realized in steel and concrete that has long been-manufactured in the area. The stark, industrial aspects of the competition-winning proposal evoke the character of the region where the project will be built. These structures are to be installed directly on the coast and will require minimal interference to the natural landscape and native flora. The inland section of the plot is to be more heavily manicured in terms of vegetation, acting as a green buffer between sand and nearby gardens. A larger park space with paths, lawns, and lighting is planned for the southernmost tip of the waterfront. The choice of concrete and steel as materials suggests that the question of comfort might have played a secondary role to aesthetics in the design process. Yet the steel and concrete found in the plan are more than just a figurative nod to the manufacturing legacy of Mo i Rana as they also ensure that the entirety of the design will be crafted in nearby seafront factories. Beyond creating a new waterfront landscape, many of the structures also help combat erosion plaguing the town's sandy beaches. There is the thought that enterprising skiers and snowboarders might make creative use of the plan's metal rails and walkways come wintertime.
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Snøhetta’s Lacy Envelope in Oslo’s Barcode District

A custom designed, prefabricated panel system of white aluminum and glass brings a softer aesthetic to a new development in Norway.

For the Barcode district in Norway—a new, mixed-use high-rise development along the waterfront in central Oslo—the architectural arm of design firm Snøhetta recently completed a 215,000-square-foot building. Two retail levels and 12 levels of workspace for real estate firm Deloitte are wrapped in a prefabricated aluminum and triple-glazed glass facade. Designed to establish a new presence in the Oslo skyline, the firm developed the facade to stand out within the guidelines of the rectilinear master plan and maintains the overall rhythm of the district’s high rises. Where most of the new buildings in Barcode feature rectangular volumes with facades that reach the ground levels, the Deloitte Office Building rests on a glass plinth that connects interior retail spaces to the ground level. The building’s atrium is expressed through a perpendicular intervention of transparent glass at ground level that twists diagonally to nearly 45 degrees at the top. In addition to greater penetration of natural light, it also allows office views to the city’s public streetscapes, and the fjord approximately 100 yards away. In concert with the lacey aluminum facade, the diagonal volume softens the building’s impact. “It’s been said our building looks more like a lace dress on a woman next to all the ‘male’ buildings,” said Marianne Sætre, Snøhetta’s lead architect on the project.
  • Facade Manufacturer FLEX, Schüco
  • Architects/Consultants Snøhetta, Schüco
  • Location Oslo, Norway
  • Date of Completion 2013
  • System custom white aluminum-and-glass panel system
Working with engineers from facade manufacturer FLEX and German envelope consultancy Schüco, the team developed a total of 650 aluminum profiles—350 of which were unique. “We were trying to develop a system that provided an opportunity to work with the surface instead of floor-to-floor decks and bands of windows,” explained Sætre. To achieve the desired sculptural quality, a hand-drawn geometry that expresses light dappled through a tree canopy was divided into rectangular and tessellated shapes. The geometry is essentially the same but is flipped horizontally and vertically to avoid repetition. Each panel measures 6 ¾ feet by 12 feet. The height is defined by the deck-to-deck ratio, and the patterning on each panel is scaled to accommodate minor variations in programming height. The metallic components on the facade are made from white aluminum, to minimize reflectivity. “We wanted the aluminum to be more matte, like snow,” said Sætre. The glass is also treated with a pearlescent finish to produce a glimmering quality. In total, the panel system reflects 23 percent of outside light and transmits 44 percent of natural light. The prefabricated panels were optimized for maximum performance with three layers of glazing for a U-value of 0.6. The challenge of eliminating leakage from panel joints was mitigated by a proprietary locking system that, with the help of pre-installed gaskets, covers each split. Each panel also has an overlapping profile that connects the neighboring panel with the deck lock.
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INABA Creates a Cylindrical Beacon For A Norwegian Concert Hall

 
Fabrikator

INABA's inverted chandelier comprises a steel frame clad with aluminum tubes and activated by LEDs.

Both simple in its geometry and intriguing in its illumination, a massive new lighting installation in Stavanger, Norway, aims to activate the lobby of a concert hall and create a welcoming civic gesture. Designed by New York-based INABA, the cylindrical structure responds to its setting in a variety of ways. Cutaways in the cylinder reveal views out for visitors inside the concert hall and also reveal slices of the dynamic LED lighting inside the structure to people outside the concert hall on the plaza. Jeffrey Inaba, principal of INABA, calls the installation Skylight, and refers to it as an “inverted chandelier.” The light is reflected within the rings, rather than out. The outside is coated in glossy white to reflect the warmer daylight and ambient light in the building. The design of Skylight is meant to function as a recognizable figure for the building, which was designed by Oslo-based Ratio Arkitekter.
  • Fabricator  DAMTSA
  • Architect  INABA
  • Location  Stavanger, Norway
  • Date of Completion  January 2013
  • Material  Hollow tube steel, 1-inch-square-profile aluminum tubes, LEDs
  • Process  Rhino, rolled steel, standardized connections
In order to make the maximum impact given the constraints of a public art budget, Inaba and his team worked closely with the well-known Argentinian fabricator DAMTSA, which fabricated the exterior panels at Neil Denari’s HL23. By keeping the geometry simple—just a cylinder with cutaways—Inaba was able to standardize the curvature of the installation, which simplified the process of rolling the hollow tube steel frame. One-inch-square-profile aluminum tubes clad the exterior of the cylinder, connected to the frame with standardized attachment details. DAMTSA and INABA worked together on several prototypes before ultimately settling on the cladding system. INABA designed Skylight in Rhino and collaborated with Buro Happold on the steel structure. The 22-foot-by-38-foot permanent installation, which weighs 6.5 tons, is suspended from the ceiling by a double pin connection. The angle at which it hangs is determined by the weight of the structure. It aligns with the angle of incidence of the sun, which allows the structure to have the fewest possible shadows throughout the day. The LED lighting scheme, animated by New York–based MTWTF, within the rings changes for intermissions, curtain calls, and when the hall is not in use. INABA decided to use pure white and aqua marine light so as to differentiate the installation from the warmer house illumination and the famed Nordic light. Mezzanines surround Skylight on three sides, giving concertgoers numerous vantage points to view the piece as well as the landscape beyond. For INABA, the piece suggests a way to move forward in their approach to architecture. “We’re interested in how do you take the constraints of costs, construction techniques and turn that into a conceptual framework,” Inaba said. “Skylight is not a piece of architecture, but it shows how we are pursuing architectural practice.”