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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Exhibition Center
  4. Norway
  5. Steven Holl Architects
  6. 2009
  7. Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects

Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects

  • 01:00 - 7 August, 2009
Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects
Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects

Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects +40

  • Architects

  • Location

    Hamarøy, Norway
  • Architect

    Steven Holl Architects
  • Program

    Historical museum for writer Knut Hamsun including exhibition areas, library, reading room, cafe and 230 seat auditorium
  • Client

    Nordland Fylkeskommune (County)
  • Area

    2271.0 sqm
  • Project Year


From the architect. This center dedicated to Hamsun is located above the Arctic Circle near village of Presteid of Hamarøy and the farm where the writer grew up. The museum will include 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. Strange, surprising and phenomenal experiences in space perspective and light will provide an inspiring frame for the exhibitions.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects" 07 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Benedikte Ranum · October 27, 2011

Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects

Centor4 · October 27, 2011

Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects

Centor4 · October 27, 2011

Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Dirk · June 12, 2011

In the end, a finely clad box with a green roof, somewhat interesting lighting conditions, and quite an unfortunate plan diagram.

Marta Krivosikova · December 05, 2010

Knut Hamsun Center / Steven Holl Architects #architecture @archdaily

direk · December 23, 2009

I love this project, but it would be perfect if this "building" can represent the feeling of the"hunger"body. Anyway this project is great actually.

TheArchitect · November 25, 2009

Hmm, unique! I like it. But it did not seem large enough for a library and museum.

J?nis Andersons · August 12, 2009

Thanks for Norway, which gived (but so late) this beautiful arcitectural contribution for one of the world's greatest writers.

pablo cid barraza · August 11, 2009

lovely... i really dig holl's sketches.

trimtab21 · August 11, 2009

it reminds me too much of a fortress or rampart tower with those narrow windows. And all that bare concrete is dreadful...that idiom was warn out in the 1980's.

Thomas · August 12, 2009 11:11 PM

There's not a single square-meter of bare concrete in this project! The interior is painted white concrete. There's a pic of bare concrete from during the construction of the building. I think you would find bare concrete during construction in many projects!

darth · August 10, 2009

the bart simpson museum. love it.

sullka · August 10, 2009

The building seems to work, it fits the program, to me it's somehow awkward, a little to theatrical, but overall I like it, it looks inviting.

Now, I also think someone should call a child protecting agency, I think Steven Holl is exploiting his children, they're being forced to make his sketches, probably without pay.

Andrés Briceño · August 10, 2009

This is an amayzing building, simple, expressing.
It's a piece of work

milan · August 09, 2009

Real Architectural poetry...Steven Holl in his essential.Beautiful.

Mauro · August 08, 2009

One of the few architects that produce architecture...
I don´t think it´s a nazi building, sorry ´bout that Mr. Cheap.

Mr. Cheap · August 08, 2009

Funny that a nazi building is so black.

Andrew · August 09, 2009 01:52 AM

Get over yourself, the building contains ample information about Hamsun's view on Nazism. It's an important part of his history, and it's on display at the museum!
Hamsun's work is considered important for the whole world - and his work deserves recognition despite his politics.

On the other hand his views on Nazism were strange and largely motivated by his anti-British views. Germany was always more important to Norway culturally than England, this changed after WWII.
Most of our important painters and writers lived in Germany [long before the war].

Richie · August 08, 2009

The "hairy" roof seems like a fairly arbitrary gesture and I think the building would be better without it but I like it a lot apart from that. It makes a strong presence in the landscape without looking out of place, and the interconnected internal spaces twisting up through the tower seem interesting (though you don't really get to see them properly here).

Andrew · August 09, 2009 01:54 AM

It's a common feature of old Norwegian houses to have "lawns" on top of them. It also relates to several of his books.

Thomas · August 08, 2009

Stunning, perfect!! I guess you would have to know Hamsun's writing to understand this building and its depth.

llama llama llama · August 07, 2009

Stick to watercolours, imho.

StructureHub Blog · August 07, 2009

Neato, swell - they both apply. For so simple a structure, Mr. Holl crafted a sculpture w/ much depth, even using shadow as an element of design, by tilting a portion of the facade outward. Clever model, too.


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克努特•汉姆生中心 / Steven Holl Architects