Knut Hamsun Center, Norway – Steven Holl Building

Knut Hamsun Center, Norway, Norwegian Architecture, Images, Project, News

Knut Hamsun Center Norway : Hamarøy Architecture

Arctic Circle Building: Hamarøy Project – design by Steven Holl Architects

27 May 2008

Knut Hamsun Center

Hamarøy, Norway
1994 – 2009
Design: Steven Holl Architects

Designing The Hamsun Centre: A Lecture with the Architect Steven Holl
Monday, October 5, 6:30 pm
Scandinavia House
(58 Park Avenue at 38th Street, New York City)
$10

The Knut Hamsun Centre opened in Hamarøy, Norway, in August of this year to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Hamsun’s birth. Architect Steven Holl, who designed the centre, will delve into the concept behind it: “building as a body; battleground of invisible forces” and the 15-year process of actualizing the building.
www.scandinaviahouse.org/events_lecturesl#hamsun

Knut Hamsun Center – Building Description

New York City, June 18, 2009—The Knut Hamsun Center, located in Hamarøy, Norway and designed by Steven Holl Architects, will open to the public on August 4, 2009 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Knut Hamsun’s birth. Dedicated to Norway’s most inventive twentieth-century writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, the 2700- square-meter center is located above the Arctic Circle by the village of Presteid of Hamarøy, near the farm where Hamsun grew up. The building includes exhibition areas, a library and reading room, a café, and an auditorium for museum and community use.

Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center

Influenced by Hamsun’s explorations of the intricacies of the human mind, the building is conceived as an archetypal and intensified compression of spirit in space and light, and as the realization of a Hamsun character in architectonic terms. Inspired by passages of Hamsun’s texts, there is an “empty violin case” deck, while a viewing balcony is like the “girl with sleeves rolled up polishing yellow panes.”

The concept for the museum, “Building as a Body: Battleground of Invisible Forces,” is realized from both inside and out. The wood exterior is punctuated by hidden impulses piercing through the surface. The spine of the building body, constructed from perforated brass, is the central elevator. The board form concrete structure with stained white interiors is illuminated by diagonal rays of sunlight calculated to ricochet through the section on certain days of the year.

The tarred black wood exterior skin alludes to Norwegian Medieval wooden stave churches, and in the roof garden, long chutes of bamboo refer to traditional Norwegian sod roofs.

Designed in 1994, the building has survived Norwegian controversy with over 300 local articles. In 2005, the original design was reinstated with the support and dedication of Alf Einar Øien and Aaslaug Vaa and in close collaboration with Oslo-based LY Arkitekter. The realized building embodies all the original design concepts and includes the addition of a community auditorium. The auditorium is connected to the main building via a passageway accessed through the lower lobby, which takes advantage of the natural topography, allowing for natural light along the circulation route.

Knut Hamsun Centre – images Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Knut Hamsun Center : main page with completed building photos by Steven Holl

Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center

Previously:

Knut Hamsun Center Norway – Starts on Site

Groundbreaking ceremony for Steven Holl’s Knut Hamsun Center took place on 26 May 2008 in Hamaroy, Norway.

In 1994 Steven Holl Architects was commissioned to design a center for Knut Hamsun, Norway’s most inventive twentieth-century writer. The Knut Hamsun Center will be located above the Arctic Circle near the village of Presteid of Hamaroey, close to the farm where the writer grew up. The center is to open on Hamsun’s 150th birthday August 4th 2009.

Steven Holl will be attending the ceremony. The Chair of County Council in Nordland will lay the foundation stone for the Knut Hamsun Center, and the New York based puppet theatre Wakka Wakka Productions will take the old Knut Hamsun back to his childhood wonderland.

Knut Hamsun fabricated new forms of expression in his first novel Hunger, and founded a truly modern school of fiction with his works Pan, Mysteries. In 1920 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for the novel Growth of the Soil.

The center includes exhibition areas, a library and reading room, a caf», and an auditorium. The Knut Hamsun Center will tell many contrasting tales and will constantly revitalize Hamsun’s writing.

The building is conceived as an archetypal and intensified compression of spirit in space and light, concretizing a Hamsun character in architectonic terms. The concept for the center, “Building as a Body: Battleground of Invisible Forces,” is realized from inside and out. Strange, surprising, and phenomenal experiences in space, perspective, and light provide an inspiring frame for exhibitions. The design won the 1996 Progressive Architecture Award and a model of the building was purchased by Museum of Modern Art.

We are happy to welcome you to attend the groundbreaking ceremony, and also to the grand opening in August 2009. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Nordland County Council if you need assistance in organising your trip. More information about the grand opening in 2009 will be sent later.

Knut Hamsun Centre: Building information from Steven Holl Architects 23/270508

Knut Hamsun Center: Information from Steven Holl Architects 6 Mar 2007

View from the north ; overview panoramic
Knut Hamsun Centre Knut Hamsun Center

Steven Holl Architects reports: Norwegian Council votes to build Knut Hamsun Center

Knut Hamsun Centre Concept sketches – exterior ; section
Knut Hamsun Norway Hamarøy building

New York City – In 1994 Steven Holl Architects was commissioned to design a center for Knut Hamsun, Norway’s most inventive twentieth- century writer. The building mired in years of controversy, but it recently came back alive. It has been approved, the funding is almost complete, and in order to open the building at Hamsun’s 150th birthday in August 2009 the project will break ground in spring 2008.

The Knut Hamsun Center will be located above the Arctic Circle near the village of Presteid of Hamarøy close to the farm where the writer grew up. The center includes exhibition areas, a library and reading room, a café, and an auditorium. The Knut Hamsun Center will tell many contrasting tales and will constantly revitalize Hamsun’s writing. Steven Holl hopes to create place of focus for the writer’s work: “The problem today is that there’s so much information, there’s so much thrown at you, that it’s very hard to connect things that have plausible likenesses and tenuous connections. You need a certain solitude and silence and coalescence. It can happen in the authentic place, on the unique site on earth.”

Knut Hamsun Centre Facades – East ; North ; South ; West
Steven Holl Norway Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center

Knut Hamsun, fabricated new forms of expression in his first novel Hunger, and founded a truly modern school of fiction with his works Pan, Mysteries, and Growth of the Soil. In 1920 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. During World War II, he was naively sympathetic to some of Hitler’s activities, which created a considerable blemish on a long career of creative writing. When commissioned for the Knut Hamsun Center Steven Holl carefully considered all of this and stated: “I think that all those things, good and bad, can be shown in a museum dedicated to the life of one person. You can include that stain in the exhibitions. Life isn’t all clean. It has some messy corners”.

The building is conceived as an archetypal and intensified compression of spirit in space and light, concretizing a Hamsun character in architectonic terms. The concept for the museum, “Building as a Body: Battleground of Invisible Forces,” is
realized from inside and out. On the green roof a garden with long grass refers to traditional Norwegian sod roofs in a modern way and the tarred black wood facade is characteristic of the great wooden stave Norse churches. This skin is punctuated by ‘hidden impulses’ as an ‘empty violin case’-balcony with phenomenal sound properties, or a ‘girl with sleeves rolled up polishing yellow panes’-balcony. The rough white-painted concrete interiors are characterized by diagonal rays of light changing throughout the year.

These strange, surprising, and phenomenal experiences in space, perspective, and light provide an inspiring frame for exhibitions. The design won the 1996 Progressive Architecture Award and a model of the building was purchased by Museum of Modern Art.

Steven Holl Architects is currently working on several competition winning projects in Scandinavia. Besides the Knut Hamsun Center the office is working on the Herning Center of the Arts (Herning, Denmark), and Meander (Helsinki, Finland). In 1998 The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki, Finland) opened its door to the public. This museum, considered as one of Steven Holl Architect’s major works, received the National AIA Design Award in 1999.

Knut Hamsun Centre : Building information from Steven Holl Architects 060307

Knut Hamsun Center design – Steven Holl Architects


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

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Comments / photos for the Knut Hamsun CentreSteven Holl Norway Building page welcome

Knut Hamsun Centre Norway Building – page