The government of Norway has announced plans for a $4.4 million USD (37 million NOK) upgrade to the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, after record high temperatures caused the “failsafe” structure to flood earlier this year. While no samples were damaged in that event, the situation sparked concern that the facility would not be able to stand the test of time as originally intended.
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Earlier this year, the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard was flooded after record high temperatures over the winter caused some of the permafrost surrounding the vault to melt, reports The Guardian. The building's entrance tunnel was flooded and then froze to create conditions "like a glacier" for those trying to enter. Fortunately, the vault itself was not breached, meaning no harm came to the building's precious contents. However, the incident has raised questions about whether the building will be able to fulfill its purpose in the long term.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration has revealed visualizations of the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel that would link two fjords on either side of the Stad Peninsula in Norway, allowing ships to bypass the “most exposed, most dangerous” waters on the Norwegian coast. With the project now in the feasibility stage, architecture studio Snøhetta has produced a series of rendered design concepts to help the project gain traction within the Norwegian government.
The Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Massachusetts has announced the winners of the Richard Rogers Fellowship 2017. Launched in October 2016, the Fellowship seeks to act as an international platform assembling experts and practitioners from a broad range of disciplines, using the built environment to positively impact on the quality of human life. The six inaugural Fellows, selected from 200 applicants worldwide, will undertake three months of research at the Wimbledon House, a Grade II listed residence in London gifted to the School by world-renowned British architect Richard Rogers.
A Capsule of "Almost-Forgotten History": Surface Magazine Visits Peter Zumthor's Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum
After previously documenting the Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, photographer Aldo Amoretti once again captures the grounded simplicity of Peter Zumthor, this time with images of his Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum in Sauda, Norway. The three-building campus calls upon the aesthetics of the country's abandoned zinc mines from the 1800s, evoking the toilsome labor of the workers in its rough stone and exposed joint work. The museum is situated on one of Norway's National Tourist Routes and was commissioned by the state as part of an effort to increase tourism in the region. As such, the buildings are poised in and above the landscape, providing views of the natural gorge that unfold as visitors move through Zumthor's dark, shaftlike interiors.
A country known for economic dependency on its rich oil deposits, Norway is now looking toward the future of energy production: net-positive architecture. Taking the lead in this initiative, developer Emil Eriksrød has commissioned American-Norwegian firm Snøhetta to design Norway’s first energy positive building, Powerhouse Telemark, a 6,500 square meter (70,000 square foot) office building located in the tiny Norwegian town of Porsgrunn, home to just 35,000 people. When completed, it will be the world’s northernmost plus-energy building.
The winners of the Kunstsilo (Art Silo) competition to convert a 1935 harbor-side grain silo into an art museum in Kristiansand, Norway have been announced, with one overall winner and five runners up. MESTRES WÅGE ARQUITECTES and MX_SI ARCHITECTURAL STUDIO, a team from Barcelona, have won the competition, out of 101 proposals, with their concept, SILOSAMLINGEN (“The Silo Collection”), which, according to the jury, “demonstrates a crystal-clear combination of architectural self-assurance and humble respect for the silo building and its newly assigned task.”
In 2014, Snøhetta was announced as one of two winners in a competition to design new banknotes for the Norwegian Bank. Now, after 2 years of development, the first bills have been produced and are nearly ready to begin full circulation.
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