October Update

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The past month has been an ambitions one, full of connections, generosity, and experiential learning! The map below is a rough overview of my route to date. Since my last post, I crossed Sweden into Finland, delving deeper into the experience of Sauna.

Highlights of the past month include:

  • Visits with previous Valle Scholars in Stockholm and relatives in Toreboda! In Stockholm, I met with “Valle Friends” Andre, Tolla, and Hannah, visited KTH and ArkDes, and returned to several of my favorite spots in Stockholm (Woodland Cemetery, the Stockholm Public Library, bakeries, and more). My September route included taking a ferry to Finland. The Baltic Sea Ferries are more like cruise ships; they include saunas, restaurants, and more – and yes, I did “sauna” on the ferry! After travel around Finland, my route included a “loop” heading north over the Gulf of Bothnia and back into Sweden. On the second round, I met with relatives in Toreboda, checking in on a historic preservation project of the one-room “backstuga” that my great-great-great grandmother lived in.
  • (in progress!)

September Update

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The past month of travel and research has mostly been in Norway. I joined forces with another Valle Scholar, Ryan Galliford, to make a whirlwind tour of Norwegian architecture and landscape architecture sites, travelling by bicycle, rental car, train, and ferry. Highlights of the trip include:

  • Travel along four of the famous Norwegian Tourist Routes: Trollstigen, Ryfylke, Jæren, and Lofoten. These are winding two-lane roads studded with unique architectural interventions, including historic preservation projects, cantilevered steel and glass overlooks, and Peter Zumthor’s famous “Mining Museum.”
  • The architecture along the tourist routes is incredible: We visited a contemporary DNT Lodge at the trailhead of Preikestolen, designed by the firm “Helen and Hard” with a unique mass timber system that minimizes glue by using dowels, and includes wood from a diversity of tree species. We also made pilgrimages to several Sverre Fehn projects, including the Hamar Museum, the Ivar Aasen Center, the Glacier Museum, and the National Architecture Archive in Oslo.
  • Visits to “micro-architecture” saunas. The saunas located in Norway were mostly smaller, private, and very unique. One was built by a group of students via the “Scarcity and Creativity Studio” in the historic fishing village of Nusfjord in the Lofotens. Another was built from trash found in Oslo Fjord, and is tied up and floating near the city’s waterfront boardwalk. These saunas need to be rented in advance. While they are intriguing, my impression is that “sauna” is more of a novelty in Norway than it is a consistent practice.
  • Meeting with local architects: In Olso we met with Ingerid Helsing Almaas, Editor of Archtiecture N and with Einar Jarmund of JVA Architects. Yesterday we met with Sami Rintala. Sami is a Finnish architect who practices design/build globally but lives in Bodo. He had a lot to say about Sauna, and showed us his home, studio, sauna, smokehouse, and workshop, all of which he designed/built to fit into a small lot on a steep hillside.

In truth, each of these highlights deserves dedicated posts with photos and descriptions. This is something that I hope to expand on later as I reflect on the trip. For now, here are a few photos from the Lofotens: