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: