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Snohetta

Why Snøhetta's "A House to Die In" Is One of Norway's Most Controversial Construction Projects

09:30 - 13 April, 2018
Why Snøhetta's "A House to Die In" Is One of Norway's Most Controversial Construction Projects, Rendering of proposed design for A House to Die In, as seen ascending the hill. Image © MIR and Snøhetta
Rendering of proposed design for A House to Die In, as seen ascending the hill. Image © MIR and Snøhetta

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Inside the Design of Norway’s Most Controversial Building."

The sun is setting fast over a half-frozen hill about five miles west of Oslo. Named Kikkut after a now-demolished villa, the site neighbors Ekely, the old estate of Edvard Munch (itself now half razed), and save for some graffiti-covered detritus and an early crop of spring wildflowers, its peak is totally barren. Squinting northward to Munch’s Winter Atelier some 500 feet in the distance, it’s hard to believe this is the proposed site for A House to Die In: one of the most controversial building proposals in recent Norwegian history.

The brainchild of Norway’s enfant terrible artist Bjarne Melgaard, the proposal for “A House to Die In” is a luminescent, UFO-like living sculpture that doubles as a studio and home for Melgaard and his parents. With financial backing from two of the most powerful property developers in the country, the Selvaags and Sealbay A/S—longterm friends of the artist who also supplied the plot of land on the outskirts of the city—the Oslo-based Melgaard approached local Norwegian firm Snøhetta in 2011 with his idea for a combined artwork, studio—and final resting place.

4 Takes on Why Sound Design Is Crucial to Good Architecture

09:30 - 10 April, 2018
reSITE's RESONATE conference was held at the MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Image © Joel Felipe
reSITE's RESONATE conference was held at the MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Image © Joel Felipe

What is the role of sound and acoustics in the work of leading architecture practices? In February this year, reSITE and MAAT in collaboration with Meyer Sound hosted RESONATE: Thinking Sound and Space, a conference focused exclusively on the intersection of architecture and sound.

Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Snøhetta's Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Michael Jones from Foster + Partners, the founders of Meyer Sound, and the pioneer of sound art Bernhard Leitner spoke with reSITE and Canal 180 at MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Below are the 4 episodes in the series, where they discuss the role of sound in designing cultural venues and concert halls and the changing role of the architect in an age of specialization:

Snøhetta and Local Studio Unveil Wooden Archway Honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa

12:00 - 8 March, 2018
Snøhetta and Local Studio Unveil Wooden Archway Honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa, Sited between South Africa’s National Parliament and St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Arch frames the public entrance to a landscaped promenade known as the Company’s Garden, which boasts many of the city’s cultural institutions. Image © David Southwood
Sited between South Africa’s National Parliament and St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Arch frames the public entrance to a landscaped promenade known as the Company’s Garden, which boasts many of the city’s cultural institutions. Image © David Southwood

The Arch for Arch, an intertwined wooden archway honoring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has debuted in downtown Cape Town, South Africa on a site near Parliament where Tutu held many of his anti-Apartheid protests.

Designed by Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based Local Studio, in collaboration with Design Indaba and Hatch engineers, the Arch for Arch consists of 14 woven strands of Larch wood, representing the 14 chapters of South Africa’s constitution. Reaching nearly 30 feet tall (9 meters), the structure invite visitors to pass through and be reminded of the location’s prominent role in their country’s history on their way to the Company’s Garden, one of the most popular public spaces in the city since its establishment in 1652.

© David Southwood © David Southwood Pictured at far right: Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the 2017 Design Indaba Conference, where the design was first unveiled. Image Courtesy of Design Indaba The Arch is formed of 14 strands of Siberian Larch wood, a highly durable and resistant material that will weather gracefully over time, taking on the elements of its surroundings. The warmth of wood was intentionally selected to lend the Arch an intimate, tactile quality, that invites people to interact with the structure in a way that differs from the conventional materials people might expect for a memorial structure, such as concrete, steel, or stone. Image © David Southwood + 13

Liminal Studio with Snøhetta and Rush Wright Wins Competition for UNESCO World Heritage Site Education Center in Tasmania

14:00 - 1 March, 2018
© Brick Visuals
© Brick Visuals

Update 3/2/18: A previous version of this article named Snøhetta as the leader of the team; the principal architect is in fact Liminal Studio.

Australian firm Liminal Studio, in collaboration with Snøhetta and Rush Wright Associates, has been selected as the winner of an international competition for the design of the new History and Interpretation Center at Cascades Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart, Tasmania.

One of the most significant female penal sites dating back to 19th century, when Australia was still a British penal colony, the Cascades Female Colony was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. The new History and Interpretation Center will allow visitors to learn about the site’s history and how its social, cultural and political implications have impacted present day Australia.

Watch Robert A M Stern Make the Case for Preserving Philip Johnson's AT&T Building

09:30 - 24 February, 2018
Watch Robert A M Stern Make the Case for Preserving Philip Johnson's AT&T Building, Rendering of Snøhetta's renovation plans for the AT&T Building. Image © DBOX
Rendering of Snøhetta's renovation plans for the AT&T Building. Image © DBOX

In a recent film published by Metropolis Magazine, New York-based architect Robert A M Stern explains why we should care about Philip Johnson’s controversial AT&T building. As landmark designation hearings to protect the buildings external facade continue, demolition of the lobby of this iconic Postmodern New York City skyscraper has already completed.

The designs by Snøhetta for the renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue have launched the building to the forefront of the debate about the preservation of Postmodern heritage. The plans include replacing the stone facade with undulating glass in order to transform the building's street presence. Should plans progress, the once prominent arched entry will sit behind fritted glass and stone covered columns will be unwrapped to create a hovering datum.

Snøhetta Designs Energy-Positive Lakeside Hotel in the Arctic Circle

15:10 - 12 February, 2018
Snøhetta Designs Energy-Positive Lakeside Hotel in the Arctic Circle, © Snøhetta/Plompmozes
© Snøhetta/Plompmozes

Snøhetta has unveiled its design for "Svart," a hotel for sustainable tourism company Arctic Adventure of Norway. Located within the Arctic Circle, on the edge of Norway's Holandsfjorden fjord at the base of the Svartisen glacier, the building is designed to the "Powerhouse" building standard, a system developed by Snøhetta and a group of collaborators for creating energy-positive sustainable buildings.

© Snøhetta/Plompmozes © Snøhetta/Plompmozes © Snøhetta/Plompmozes © Snøhetta/Plompmozes + 5

Snøhetta's "A House to Die In" Goes Up for Public Display as the Project Faces Approval Battle

16:15 - 5 February, 2018
Snøhetta's "A House to Die In" Goes Up for Public Display as the Project Faces Approval Battle, © MIR and Snøhetta
© MIR and Snøhetta

The result of an 8 year collaborative process between Snøhetta and Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, “A House to Die In,” is now on display at a new exhibition Tjuvholmen in Oslo, Norway.

Organized by the architects and artist with Selvaag Art Collection, the exhibition shows the artistic process of designing the unique home and studio that is currently seeking approval for its construction. To be located on the grounds of painter Edward Munch’s former house and workshop in western Oslo, the sculptural proposal has prompted discussion over how it honors the legacy of one of Norway’s most famous artists.

Mirrored Shopping Mall Proposal Wins 2017 "Unbelievable Challenge"

14:00 - 27 January, 2018
Mirrored Shopping Mall Proposal Wins 2017 "Unbelievable Challenge", Courtesy of Ben Feicht
Courtesy of Ben Feicht

A mirror-clad shopping mall has been awarded the first prize for its innovative materiality and strong connection to the city in the “2017 Unbelievable Challenge” architectural design competition. “Unwrapped”, submitted by Ben Feicht, a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, was chosen as the winner out of the proposals from 22 different countries. Three other projects were awarded as runner-up.

Take a closer look at the winning design, after the break.  

Demolition Begins on Lobby of Philip Johnson's AT&T Building

08:00 - 16 January, 2018
Demolition Begins on Lobby of Philip Johnson's AT&T Building, Demolition is now underway on the lobby interiors. Image © DBOX
Demolition is now underway on the lobby interiors. Image © DBOX

While the exterior of Philip Johnson’s iconic AT&T awaits its fate in an upcoming New York City landmarks designation hearing, demolition of its granite-clad interior lobby has already begun.

Citing the fact that the lobby had already been altered in the 1990s – including the removal of the “Golden Boy” statue – when the building switched tenants from AT&T to the Sony Corporation, the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided last month that the interiors were not deserving of landmark status.

Conference: RESONATE | Thinking Sound and Space

16:00 - 8 January, 2018
Conference: RESONATE | Thinking Sound and Space, RESONATE A Conference on Architecture, Art and Sound by MAAT and reSITE in collaboration with Meyer Sound
RESONATE A Conference on Architecture, Art and Sound by MAAT and reSITE in collaboration with Meyer Sound

MAAT Museum and reSITE partner on a Conference on Architecture, Art and Sound and will bring world’s best creators of sound spaces and acoustic experiences to Lisbon. During a one-day international event in collaboration with Berkeley, California’s Meyer Sound, we will be thinking about sound and space with architects of the most fascinating contemporary music and culture venues and designers of intriguing sound environments. Artist-led tours, innovative technologies, demonstrations and performances will be part of the event, on top of keynote lectures and discussions with editors from leading global media. Early Bird registrations are open until January 15 for this one-of-a-kind event for architects, artists, engineers and anyone interested in how sound interacts with architecture. 

Facing Major Renovations, Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building Gets Hearing for Landmark Designation

14:45 - 28 November, 2017
Facing Major Renovations, Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building Gets Hearing for Landmark Designation, Renovation plans would significantly alter the building's street presence. Image © DBOX
Renovation plans would significantly alter the building's street presence. Image © DBOX

Facing plans for a major renovation that would significantly alter the street presence of the building, Philip Johnson’s Postmodern icon, 550 Madison (formerly AT&T Building) has now cleared the first stage in the process of becoming a designated New York City landmark.

Today, an application to schedule a hearing to landmark the building was approved unanimously by the city’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission (LPC). In a few months time, the LPC will hold a public forum for the building, followed by a deliberation on whether or not the tower deserves official landmark status.

Snøhetta Unveils Carved Residential Tower and Synagogue for New York City's Upper West Side

13:15 - 27 November, 2017
View southeast. Image © Binyan Studios
View southeast. Image © Binyan Studios

Snøhetta has unveiled the design of a new residential skyscraper to be built in Manhattan’s Upper West Side that will feature a unique, multi-level amenity terrace carved from the tower’s form. Located at 50 West 66th Street just steps from iconic New York City landmarks including Lincoln Center and Central Park, the tower aims to sensitively respond to the historic architecture of its context through its intricate form and refined material palette.

View northeast of shared amenity terrace. Image © Binyan Studios View of 65th street synagogue entrance. Image © Binyan Studios View west. Image © Binyan Studios View of 66th Street residential entrance. Image © Binyan Studios + 8

Snohetta, Sasaki and HOK to Take Part in a 4-Firm-Team to Design Oakland A's New Stadium

06:00 - 21 November, 2017
Snohetta, Sasaki and HOK to Take Part in a 4-Firm-Team to Design Oakland A's New Stadium, (c) Flickr user Redlegsfan21 licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
(c) Flickr user Redlegsfan21 licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Oakland Athletic's have hired four firms to lead the design and urban planning for their new ballpark on the Peralta site, near the heart of Oakland. HOK will be collaborating with Snohetta on the design of the ballpark. Snohetta will also be working on the masterplan along with Sasaki and Oakland-based Studio T-Square.

Snøhetta to Transform 550 Madison, Philip Johnson's Iconic Postmodern New York Skyscraper

14:30 - 30 October, 2017
Snøhetta to Transform 550 Madison, Philip Johnson's Iconic Postmodern New York Skyscraper, © DBOX
© DBOX

One of New York’s most iconic Postmodern skyscrapers, the Philip Johnson-designed 550 Madison (formerly AT&T Building) is set to receive a major renovation that will completely transform how the building base interacts with the street.

Designed by Snøhetta, the project centers on improving the transparency of its street presence. To do this, the stone facade at the building base will be replaced with a undulating glass curtain wall intended to be more inviting and attractive toward pedestrians, while the existing mid-block public passageway will be opened into a much larger outdoor landscape.

© DBOX © DBOX © DBOX © David Shankbone + 5

Snøhetta and Clark Nexsen Selected to Design New Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

16:15 - 24 October, 2017
Snøhetta and Clark Nexsen Selected to Design New Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Image Courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Photo by Robert Christopher
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Image Courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Photo by Robert Christopher

The team of Snøhetta (design architect), Clark Nexsen (architect-of-record) and brightspot strategy (community engagement and space programming) has been selected to design the new Main Building for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

The team will work to incorporate the creative vision created by the library and its community through a multi-year planning process. Envisioned as a “public commons,” the building will aimed at becoming a catalyst for urban revitalization, becoming a new hub of culture, education and community connection for the city.

Snøhetta Unveils Designs for Europe's First Underwater Restaurant

06:45 - 23 October, 2017
Snøhetta Unveils Designs for Europe's First Underwater Restaurant, © MIR and Snøhetta
© MIR and Snøhetta

Snøhetta have revealed designs for Europe's first underwater restaurant in the coastal village of Båly, in Norway. The structure, which also houses a marine life research center, teeters over the edge of a rocky outcrop, semi-submerged in the ocean. Built from concrete, the monolithic structure will come to rest on the sea bed five meters below the water's surface; here, it will "fuse" with the ecosystem of the concealed shoreline. Below the waterline, the restaurant’s enormous acrylic windows will frame a view of the seabed.

Architectural Adventures: Scandinavia Architectural Tour

18:38 - 16 October, 2017
Architectural Adventures: Scandinavia Architectural Tour, Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden

Discover the unique and inventive architecture in three Nordic countries on an 11-day journey with Architectural Adventures. The cutting-edge designs that enliven the skylines and streets of Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo illustrate the rich past and present of this corner of the globe. Delve into the global significance of buildings, rich history of the region, and learn from local architectural experts what drives the innovation in Scandinavian design. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access to award-winning complexes, opera houses, public spaces and cultural centers, learning first-hand from architectural influencers in the region and get an insider’s look at the region’s architectural past, present and future.

Gehry, Foster, Piano Lead Star-Studded Shortlist in London Centre for Music Competition

12:25 - 10 July, 2017
Gehry, Foster, Piano Lead Star-Studded Shortlist in London Centre for Music Competition, Barbican Hall, the current home of the London Symphony Orchestra. Image © Wikimedia user FA2010. Image is in the public domain
Barbican Hall, the current home of the London Symphony Orchestra. Image © Wikimedia user FA2010. Image is in the public domain

Six internationally-acclaimed teams have been selected as finalists in a competition to design a new home for London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music & Drama to be known as the Centre for Music London.

Planned to contain a world-class concert hall, education, training and digital spaces, top-grade facilities for audiences and performers, and a number of supporting commercial areas, the Centre for Music building will become a new landmark within the heart of London, aimed at becoming “a place of welcome, participation, discovery and learning fit for the digital age.”