The old stave churches are Norway’s real contribution to the history of world architecture. The stave church at Urnes is on UNESCO’s world heritage list.
In the rest of Europe, almost all stave churches are gone today. In Norway you can still find 28 of these unique buildings.
Today there are a number of established architectural firms that deserve mention. Lund & Slaatto has been the leading Norwegian firm since the 1940s. One of the firm’s important works is a climate-controlled glass structure protecting the ruins of the medieval cathedral in Hamar.
Sverre Fehn’s architectural works have influenced several generations of Norwegian architects and received widespread international acclaim. Niels Torp had his international breakthrough with a new headquarters building for the Scandinavian Airlines System, or SAS, in Stockholm. Another architecture firm that has gained international acclaim is Snøhetta. They have for example designed the Opera House in Oslo.
One of the biggest architectural events in Norway of recent years was the opening of Oslo’s international airport, Oslo Airport Gardermoen. The wood, stone and glass terminal building has a simple, open design and sophisticated detailing. It is the gateway to Norway and provides a welcoming starting point for air travellers to the country. When arriving Oslo city centre, a good starting point is The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.
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The stave churches are Norway's contribution to the history of world architecture. Snøhetta is one of the modern firms with international attention.
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