Month: September 2011

Fantastic Antique Shop in Bergen, Norway

While I was recently in Bergen, in the fjords of Norway, we visited this eclectic antique shop within the medieval cobbled streets. It was absolutely rammed, you could hardly move through the shop; there was countless piles of bric-a-brac, cameras, ornaments, china and military hats, balanced upon Norwegian taxidermy, musical instruments and wartime memorabilia. Images: my own

Opera House Oslo by Snohetta

Opera House Oslo by Snohetta

Below are a few photos of the Opera House in Oslo by Snohetta, which I recently visited. Certainly an icon on Oslo’s harbour, the remarkable building acts as both a theatre inside and a platform for public space. Visitors can explore the building by climbing up it’s slopes to the roof. One thing I didn’t realise until I visited, however, was just how huge the Opera House is; this is an imposing building, making it’s mark on Oslo’s horizon. Images: my own.

Aalto's House, Riihitie, Helsinki

Below are a few images of Alvar Aalto’s house in Riihitie, just outside of Helsinki, which I visited as part of a month-long trip to Scandinavia this summer. In 1936, Aalto and his wife, Aino, designed Riihitie as both office and home, until his studio became too big and moved down the road to Tiilimaki. The house has often been called the predecessor of Villa Mairea, but on a smaller scale, with more intimate office and residential spaces. Images: My own

Ordrupgaard gallery extension, Copenhagen by Zaha Hadid

If you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, I thoroughly recommend a visit to this French Impressionist Art gallery, Ordrupgaard, on the outskirts of the city, in Charlottenlund. The extension to the original building was completed by Zaha Hadid in August 2005, redefining the existing art gallery and landscape, creating a fluid motion from old to new and interior to exterior; “Design ensures that visitor’s experience is not fragmented or compartmentalised- building/collection/gardens- but a continuous, fluid interaction between different elements and aspects”. For me, my favourite part of the building was the cafe/restaurant, which is sandwiched by glass walls, bringing both the landscape and light into the space. Sometimes Hadid’s architecture can be all about making a bold statement, and not so much dedicated to the user’s specific needs. However, I think with the Ordrupgaard extension, the space certainly becomes somewhere you want to linger, walk around and use. Images: my own.

Aalto Studio, Tiilimaki, Helsinki

While in Finland, my friend and I paid a trip to Aalto’s Studio on Tiilimaki, a short tram ride out of the city to suburban Helsinki. Aalto designed the office in 1955, down the road from his own house on Riihitie, when his previous studio became too small for his architecture company. The white rendered building, which was used as his office until his death in 1976, curves around to form a landscaped amphitheatre. This was sometimes used by his students and employees to watch slideshows and lectures. Once inside, we were shown around the main light-filled office space, that made the best use of Finland’s dark and cold winters. The main interior space however, was the curving atelier, where Aalto used to like to draw himself, on a low table. Aalto designed this room to create the perfect environment for examining drawings and models; he even created a small upper level in order to hang prototypes of light fittings. Images: my own

Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki

The first in a long line of blog posts I hope to do about my month-long trip to Scandinavia, this one features Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki. Through our travels across Finland, I noticed the innovation and modernism of Finnish religious architecture, and this is one such example. Comparable to a concert hall or auditorium, this circular space both cocoons and comforts the user, whilst at the same time, inspiring awe by its shear size and acoustics. Burrowed into solid rock and designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in 1969, the interior cavernous church features a copper roof balanced like a spaceship onto the bare rock of Lutherinkatu; “It dawned intuitively on the Suomalainen brothers when they visited the building site that, in order to save the character of place, the rock itself had to be understood as a church and everything to be built at the site should be adjusted to accompany the character of the rock.” Source: Temppeliaukio. Images: my own.