Oslo: The Latest Architecture and News
Commissioned by the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, and designed by Snøhetta, the installation entitled The Best Weapon, was first unveiled to the public at the United Nations Headquarters’ Plaza in New York City. This urban peace bench aims to honor “the past Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their efforts to bring people together to find effective solutions for peace”.
Already in its 7th edition, the Oslo Architecture Triennale opened this week, exploring “the architecture of a radically transformed society in which cultural and ecological flourishing matter more than economic growth”. Under the title of Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth, the festival is questioning the damage caused to the environment by the constant economic growth.
ArchDaily is happy to announce our Media Partnership with @Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019! Throughout 2019 we will be sharing stories, interviews, and content related to the Triennale, which this year revolves around the theme of Degrowth. The interview below introduces Degrowth in the context of practice today - and hints at how this radical idea could irreversibly change how we value architectural production.
The world faces some significant challenges. The UN climate change report, which explained that we may have just 12 years and need “unprecedented changes” to avoid devastating effects from climate change, was released into a world that seemed to be plenty busy processing other things, such as rising economic inequality, increasingly partisan politics, escalating conflicts, and refugee crises, to name a few.
The engine of contemporary architectural production, and the basis of societies around the world, is economic growth. Global political orthodoxy declares GDP growth is always good; that more is more. Throughout the last two centuries increased economic growth brought with it many measures of prosperity, but for many decades now the limits to growth have been visible on the horizon. Social equity, health and wellbeing, quality of life, happiness and other non-monetary measures of success are faltering while resource extraction, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and toxicity, temperatures, sea levels, extreme weather, and many such indicators of climate breakdown make clear daily that the time of this worldview is running out.
Oslo councilors have voted to halt the Snøhetta-designed “A House to Die In,” located in the grounds of painter Edward Munch’s former house and workshop in western Oslo. The recent vote, reported by Norwegian newspaper The Local would appear to put an end to the 8-year collaborative process between Snøhetta and Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard.
A House to Die In has become the most controversial building proposal in recent Norwegian history, due to its architectural form and how it honors the legacy of one of Norway’s most famous artists.