THE NEW ARCHITECTURE OF OSLO, PART THREE (2017): Operaen; The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet

 |   |  3 min read

THE NEW ARCHITECTURE OF OSLO, PART THREE (2017): Operaen; The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet

In the first two parts of this brief series about the architecture of Oslo, we looked at the new developments in the Barcode area and around the Renzo Piano-designed Astrup-Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.

The centrepiece of Oslo's archirtectural regeneration and development however is the undeniably beautiful and strikingly innovative home to the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, a landmark building on the foreshore which has become a public space unlike many other buildings of similar size and intent.

The low sloping roof made up of 36,000 pieces of Carrara marble from Italy is like a public park on which people walk across at all hours of the day and night, and the fact the building is open by day means visitors and the curious can amble around the oak-paneled interior which also becomes a public space in which there is a restaurant, cafe and shop alongside the usual booking offices and so on.

The opera house is public domain and further proof that culture can be a magnet as well as a driver of tourism and development.

It is no coincidence that Barcode has grown up behind the opera house or that buildings in the nearby old town are now undergoing renovation and restoration.

The architectural competition of 2000 to develop an opera/ballet house on the site drew 240 entries but was won by the local architects Snohetta whose vision was of a seemingly low lying link between the sea and the city, one which would be a landmark development and art object in its own right.

The building opened in April 2008 when people could at last appreciate the scale of the The Carpet (the roof landscape), The Wave Wall (of oak, in the foyer) and The Factory which is the enormous area behind the stages where the workshops, offices, design teams and researchers are located.

Interestingly many of these "private" areas are visible through the windows along the side of the opera house, so passers-by can watch set designers, costume-makers and others at work.

By day and night, the opera house's white marble and aluminium-sheathed fly tower catch the changing light, reflect the colours of the sky and make for a magisterial link between art, architecture, land, sea and sky.

Below are a series of photographs of the exterior and interior of this remarkable building which has re-invigorated Norwegian design and become an icon in the architectural and emotional landscape. 

oslomap3

ballet1

ballet2

ballet3

ballet4

ballet5

ballet6

ballet7

ballet9

ballet10

ballet8

opera1

opera2

opera3

opera4

opera5

opera6

opera7

opera9

opera8

opera10

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Cultural articles index

OHMYNEWS: The Korean model of citizen journalism (2008)

OHMYNEWS: The Korean model of citizen journalism (2008)

The e-mail from Jean K. Min is clear, he tells me they are located in the Nuritkum Square Business Tower, “a huge futuristic building in the centre of Digital Media City, you cannot miss... > Read more

ROBIN MORRISON REMEMBERED (2014): Life in the lens

ROBIN MORRISON REMEMBERED (2014): Life in the lens

When Auckland photographer Robin Morrison died in 1993 at the tragically early age of 48, his legacy was already firmly established. The son of a portrait photographer (whose work he admitted... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Don McGlashan

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Don McGlashan

What can you say about Don McGlashan, official Arts Laureate and Living Legend? That he has written songs which explore the dark underbelly of New Zealand life (White Valiant) but also those of... > Read more

THE BEATLES: HEAR AND NOW; LIVE IN THE STUDIO 24/1/69 (2018): Wired for the sounds of silence

THE BEATLES: HEAR AND NOW; LIVE IN THE STUDIO 24/1/69 (2018): Wired for the sounds of silence

Just as Beatle fans are coming to financial terms with the magisterial expanded reissue of The White Album – seven discs, a book and photos in the Deluxe Edition -- comes news from Apple... > Read more