Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sverre Fehn, 1924-2009

The greatest Norwegian architect ... perhaps ever ... died yesterday. The family released the news this morning. He had a unique architectural vision - with so many of his buildings you can tell that they're his, at a glance. He had such an illustrious career ... he participated in so many amazing things, not just in Norway but around the world. You can read more about him on Wikipedia (Norwegian entry with lots of links here, English entry here) and on the Modern European Architecture Museum's website here.

These are some pictures I've taken myself of my favorite Fehn building, the Aukrust Center in Alvdal, my mother's hometown. It's very typical of his work, both in style and in materials.

It's a loss that he's gone now. But he made his mark ... in a way that will be not just remembered, but also experienced, by future generations.


Calyx said...

I second the post.

I had the opportunity to work for a while in one of Fehn's great buildings. My initial reaction was that the building was pretentious as fuck, but after having worked there for a while, I really started appreciating how the architect anicipated the needs of the users. What made a really great impression was how the architecture created social dynamics that were really appropriate and useful for the company and how one always had a feeling of air and space - not to mention the summer lunches on the roof terrace, with strawberries and ice cream! God, I was so spoiled....

Cheers for Fehn, and here's hoping he'll keep building in the next life!

Leisha Camden said...

Yeah, you were spoiled at that place. ;-) I think what you describe is the sign of a great architect - someone who doesn't just see the aesthetics of the building, or just the building in and of itself, but sees it instead as a dynamic entity where the users and their activities also form part of the whole. If that makes sense. :-)