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A New Festival that Celebrates the Architecture of the Arctic Circle

A New Festival that Celebrates the Architecture of the Arctic Circle
A New Festival that Celebrates the Architecture of the Arctic Circle, © Gunner Holmstad
© Gunner Holmstad

Last weekend saw the opening of a new cultural festival on Sandhornøy, a small Norwegian island within the Arctic Circle. Centered around three traditionally-inspired structures by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, SALT is a celebration of the history and culture of Arctic communities - and while the structures of the Norwegian festival will remain in place for a full year, the festival itself plans to tour the northern regions of the globe, with new locally specific installations at each locale. Find out more about the festival in after the break, in this post originally published on Metropolis Magazine.

© Gunner Holmstad
© Gunner Holmstad

A tiny Norwegian island in the Arctic Circle is host to an architecture and culture festival that is anything but small. Set upon the white sandy beaches of Sandhornøy, SALT features three monumental structures that were inspired by traditional Norwegian fiskehjeller (fish racks) and designed by Rintala Eggertsson Architects. In celebration the days and nights are filled with performances, art events, and opportunities to enjoy the food from SALT’s Restaurant Gildeskål. "We developed this idea that we wanted to focus on the Arctic region and the history, the present time, and the future of this area," says the curator Helga-Marie Nordby who cofounded SALT with cultural entrepreneur Erlend Mogård-Larsen. "The focus point is to create art and culture events to engage people in the region."

© Gunner Holmstad
© Gunner Holmstad

The celebration was kicked off on Friday August 29th with Yang Fudong’s specially commissioned, site-specific film installation The Light That I Feel. Visitors were free to roam throughout the festival's skeletal follies, which housed an amphitheatre-style events space and bar. Restaurant Gildeskå was nestled within one of the small njallas—easily movable, hybrid structures somewhere between houses and tents—where visitors can stay after finding the perfect spot for a night spent at the beach. 

© Gunner Holmstad
© Gunner Holmstad

While the celebratory launch ended on September 1, the opportunity to visit the structures—and rent a njalla for the night—remains, as SALT will be on the beach for another year. The founders see it as a “continuous arts diary” with its series of cultural experiences, indoors and outdoors, ranging from site-specific art installations to fireside storytelling and concerts to meditation programs. And soon SALT will be touring the northernmost parts of the globe with stops in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, Scotland, Spitsbergen, and Alaska. “Every destination we visit we’ll be considering the local building traditions,” says Norby. “It’s about being inspired by older architectural traditions and bringing them into now.

To find out more about the structures created by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, see our article below:

SALT Festival Installations / Rintala Eggertsson Architects

About this author
Cite: Shannon Sharpe. "A New Festival that Celebrates the Architecture of the Arctic Circle" 08 Sep 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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