Knut Hamsun Center – Steven Holl Norway

Knut Hamsun Centre Norway, Norwegian Architecture, Hamarøy, Photos, Project, News

Knut Hamsun Center : Architecture

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

8 Jun 2011

Knut Hamsun Center : Award

Steven Holl Architects’ Knut Hamsun Center Wins 2011 Norwegian Byggeskikk Prize

New York City, June 7th, 2011 – Steven Holl Architects has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Byggeskikkprisen for the Knut Hamsun Center in Hamarøy, Norway.

The Knut Hamsun Center, a collaboration with Oslo-based LY Arkitekter, was selected from over 90 submitted buildings and 7 nominees. The prize, which is granted by the Norwegian government for outstanding architecture, was presented by Local Government and Regional Development Minister Liv Signe at the Norwegian Design and Architecture Center in Oslo.

Completed building photos by Steven Holl:

Knut Hamsun Centre Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center Hamarøy Knut Hamsun Center Norway
photos © Steven Holl Architects

“The Hamsun Center is a piece of original architecture that is deeply moving on many levels and meets all of its functions in exceptionally exciting and unique ways,” said the Jury. “It both provokes and delights through its strong, clear and non-traditional form, and it finds its natural place in the dramatic skyline of the northern landscape.”

23 Jul 2010

Knut Hamsun Center : Awards

The awards, administered annually by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies honor “new and cutting-edge design” and aim to promote “excellence in architecture and urbanism from a global point-of-view.” Steven Holl Architects also won an award for the Herning Museum of Contemporary Art in Herning, Denmark.

The building recently received a 2010 AIA NY Honor award and the North Norwegian Architecture Award.

North Norwegian Architecture Prize 2010 winner – announced 9 Jul 2010


Knut Hamsun Center Hamarøy

Opened August 2009

Knut Hamsun Center in Hamarøy, Norway Designed by Steven Holl Architects

Knut Hamsun Center Knut Hamsun Center Hamarøy

Knut Hamsun Center
Hamarøy, Norway
1994 – 2009

Knut Hamsun, Norway’s most inventive twentieth-century writer, fabricated new forms of expression in his first novel Hunger. He went on to found a truly modern school of fiction with his works Pan, Mysteries, and Growth of the Soil. This center dedicated to Hamsun is located above the Arctic Circle near the village of Presteid of Hamarøy near the farm where the writer grew up.

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photos © Steven Holl Architects

The 2700-square-meter Knut Hamsun Center includes exhibition areas, a library and reading room, a café, and an auditorium equipped with the latest film projection equipment. (Hamsun’s writings have been particularly inspiring to filmmakers, which is evident in the more than 17 films based on his work.) The Knut Hamsun Center 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 Knut Hamsun Center museum, “Building as a Body: Battleground of Invisible Forces,” is realized from inside and out. Here the wood exterior is punctuated by hidden impulses piercing through the surface: An “empty violin case” balcony has phenomenal sound properties, while a viewing balcony is like the “girl with sleeves rolled up polishing yellow panes.”

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photos © Steven Holl Architects

Many other aspects of the Knut Hamsun Center building use the vernacular style as inspiration for reinterpretation. The stained black wood exterior skin is characteristic of the great wooden stave Norse churches. On the roof garden, long grass refers to traditional Norwegian sod roofs in a modern way. The rough white-painted concrete interiors are characterized by diagonal rays of light calculated to ricochet through the section on certain days of the year. These strange, surprising, and phenomenal experiences in space, perspective, and light provide an inspiring frame for Knut Hamsun Center exhibitions.

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photos © Steven Holl Architects

Knut Hamsun Centre building images / information from Steven Holl Architects 110809

Knut Hamsun Centre Knut Hamsun Centre
photographs © Ernst Furuhatt – Salten Museum

Knut Hamsun Center : background information on the building

Knut Hamsun Centre

Knut Hamsun Center design – Steven Holl Architects

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

Another project by Steven Holl that uses indirect coloured light:

Chapel of St Ignatius, Seattle, Washington, USA
Chapel of St Ignatius
photo courtesy Marialaura Polignano

Norwegian Architecture – Selection

Petter Dass Museum, Alstaharg, northern Norway
Petter Dass Museum
picture from Snøhetta

Petter Dass Museum

Buildings by Steven Holl Architects – Selection

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Mortensrud Church, Oslo
Mortensrud Church
image : Jensen & Skodvin

Mortensrud Church

Shenzhen Skyscrapers

Herning Center of the Arts

Comments / photos for the Knut Hamsun Centre page welcome

Knut Hamsun Centre Norway Building – page