Snøhetta Designs New Banknotes for Norway

Snøhetta’s pixilated concept for the Norwegian banknote has been selected by the Central Bank of Norway to serve as the “foundation” for the backside of the new kroner notes. This news, announced yesterday in Oslo, also confirmed that the notes’ front will be based off The Metric System’s more “traditional” design featuring a images of sailing vessels.

Both Snøhetta and The Metric System were among seven designers invited to submit ideas under the nautical theme “The Sea,” in which Snøhetta chose to commemorate Norway’s coastal landmarks with a “visual language” of brightly colored, cubical patterns.

More on Snøhetta’s winning concept, after the break.

© The Metric System

“When contrasts come together, as when soft meets hard or digital meets analog, a dynamic is created. Our cubical pattern first of all represents pixels; our times visual language,” described Snøhetta in regards to their scheme, The Beauty of Boundaries. “Secondly, it represents mosaic; surface décor put together by different materials of different colors which together create a picture. The cubical pattern constructs the coast, the horizon, and the motive; just as we humans construct our societies on the coast.”

“Our organic pattern abstracts the sea. Seen in connection with the rational cubical pattern, it emphasizes the differences between the soft and the hard. Both patterns follow the Beaufort scale, as an expression of wind force, affecting the waves of the sea. On the 50 NOK note the wind is gentle, represented by short, cubical shapes and long, tame waves in the organic pattern. On the 1000 NOK note the wind is strong, expressed through sharp long shapes on the cubes and short waves.”

Courtesy of Snøhetta

Snøhetta and The Metric System will now work with the bank to refine the designs and incorporate the necessary security measures to prevent counterfeit. The new notes are expected to be released in 2017.

References: Snøhetta, The Atlantic

About this author
Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Snøhetta Designs New Banknotes for Norway " 08 Oct 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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