“Mr. Architecture”, Hans Petter Smeby, is the brain behind Norway’s streetwise architecture and design magazine Nytt rom. Here are his personal tips.
Oslo-based editor-in-chief Hans Petter Smeby is since long an intermediary of the not-so-obvious part of Scandinavian design. He is recognised for his fresh view on classics and his ability to highlight the up-and-coming.
His design and architecture magazine Nytt Rom has a personal feel and is a reference to everyone from professionals to design curious.
Despite the success of his anti-mainstream concept he still insists on a hands-on approach to everything from location scouting to magazine production. Smeby should therefore be especially suitable for the challenge to guide us through some of Norway’s grooviest architectural hot spots.
Hans Petter Smeby
A clever mix of an exclusive Mediterranean club and the Norwegian coastline. Stokkøya is a low-key, cool hotel and activity centre. Extensive use of glass gives an intimate, immediate contact with the beautiful beach - popular for parties as well as
for playing with the kids. The whole thing is a fresh take on the modern combo of lively colours and concrete. Architect: Pir 2
One of the finest examples of Norway’s world famous wooden hotels from the early days of tourism. Hotel Union offers a rich history including numerous international prominent guests. The wooden pieces of the building were in fact made
in Norway’s third most important city, Trondheim, and then shipped to Øye and assembled there. Architect: Christian Thams
A gentle newcomer to this otherwise untouched landscape, built in natural stone in spectacular surroundings. Eggum is a rest area shaped like a classic amphitheatre
This is how to build a completely new city district with loads of flair and charm. The heart of Vulkan is Oslo’s new food hall with among its many occupants a one star
Michelin restaurant, Kontrast. In the surrounding streets there are stand-alone shops, galleries and other businesses which are not found elsewhere. Architect: LPO
This Cistercian nuns' monastery, — a beautifully crafted, massive, creative wooden construction, lets loads of natural light in. It holds a spectacular location on the
small island of Tautra in the Trondheims Fjord. Architect: Jensen & Skodvin
This red-painted modernistic building is situated right in the very cradle of proud Norwegian mountaineering, with traditions going all the way back to the 1870s.
A bold piece of architecture, which is an attraction in itself. Architect: Jarmund & Vigsnes.
A 90 minute drive from Oslo, you find a huge glass framework built around the remains of a 950 year old stone dome. The whole structure is called “the double cathedral”. The purpose of the glass construction is to protect the original ruins,
but the site is now also used for various events. Within the same area there is also a reinterpretation of the ancient Bishop’s palace, designed by architect Sverre Fehn. Architect: Lund & Slåtto.
This unusual piece of architecture has collected numerous international awards. Trollstigen Visitor Centre is a multipurpose structure, including a café and a view point for one of the most visited parts of Western Norway. To explore the various forms of mountain water, from melting snow and ice, to drizzling streams and
waterfalls, is also a pleasant element of display. The nearby Trollveggen (The Troll Wall) is Europe’s steepest mountain wall, and reaches about 1000 meters. Architect: Reiulf Ramstad.
This ancient place, with buildings in notched logs, was listed as early as 1923. From 1858 it served as a shuttle station. Røisheim is more than anything, a great stop when visiting the eastern part of Norway. In short, it is best described as a small
scale hotel, offering high class establishment and restaurant services. Highly profiled personalities such as author Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) and composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) have both stayed here.
Most tourists in Oslo visit the impressive Vigeland park, but often miss this exceptionally beautiful example of the architectural direction called “brutalism”, which is to be found right next to the park. The headquarter for the organisation of
Norwegian Private Sector (NHO) is embellished by a façade full of interesting details and structures, for those who find time to explore it.
Oslo is rapidly growing into an exciting, international metropolis, while in the countryside, prestigious projects seem to grow out of nature itself. There has never been a more exciting time for Norwegian architecture.
The earliest traces of humans in Norway date back to the last ice age. One may wonder what the people of ancient cultures would have thought of the modern wave of Norwegian design and architecture.
Spend a week exploring some of the highlights of Norwegian architecture, from a wooden church that dates back to the 12th century to the latest high-tech hotel which blends in with nature.
A new wave of designers are making themselves heard, while the classic icons are rediscovered. Lighting, rainwear, wool and passports are among the Norwegian designs that are attracting worldwide attention.
Back to top