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Snøhetta

Snohetta-Kjetil-Craig.jpg
Graig Dykers og Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. Foto: Snøhetta

Snøhetta is an award-winning international Oslo- and New York-based architecture firm, which has become one of the most discussed and sought-after practices today, due to their radical rethinking of the relationship between building and landscape.

Formed in 1989 in Oslo, Norway, Snøhetta arrived at the international architectural scene with quite a splash. After having unsuccessfully partaken in a number of competitions in the firm's native country of Norway, they entered an open, international competition for the design of the new Library of Alexandria and won. Since this early and unexpected rise to fame, Snøhetta has won numerous other noteworthy commissions, such as the Oslo Opera House, and the 9/11 Memorial Grounds, which precipitated the opening of their New York office.

The fact that the practice takes its name from one of Norway's highest mountain peaks (as opposed to one or all of the partners) is no coincidence. In fact it is very telling - not just about the inspiration they draw from the natural landscape but also to a large extent about the role of the partners. Both of Snøhetta's principals - in Oslo, Norwegian-born Kjetil Thorsen, and in New York, American-born Craig Dykers, who has lived in Norway for many years - downplay their personal contributions to the firm's designs, and neither has an instantly recognizable style. Dykers has described Snøhetta's approach as being "collectivist," while Thorsen has described the firm's ethos "open, direct, accessible and egalitarian."

A deep-seated respect for diverse backgrounds and cultures is a corner-stone in Snøhetta's philosophy, and it is reflected by the fact that the practice is composed of designers, architects and landscape architects from around the world. Currently they are employing approximately 130 staff members working on projects in Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada.

Among the many acknowledgements, the firm has received was the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 and the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2009.

Watch an enlightening short film about a couple of Snøhetta's projects below or visit their website here.

video

Wolfe Center for the Arts by Snøhetta in Bowling Green, Ohio, USA.  exterior 
Photo: Bruce Damonte
June 11, 2012 /

Wolfe Center for the Arts
Snøhetta
Bowling Green, Ohio, USA

Punctuating the expansive horizons of northwestern Ohio, the new Wolfe Center for the Arts at Bowling Green State University rises from the fertile plains to alter the local landscape - both literally and culturally.

SFMOMA Expansion by Snøhetta in San Francisco, California, USA.
Expansion Sketch; image courtesy Snøhetta
May 30, 2011 /

SFMOMA
Snøhetta
San Francisco, California, USA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) recently unveiled the preliminary design for its expansion that will double the museum's exhibition and education space while enhancing the visitor experience and more deeply weaving the museum into the fabric of the city.

WTC Pavilion by Snøhetta in New York, New York, USA.
Image courtesy Snøhetta
August 10, 2010 /

WTC Pavilion
Snøhetta
New York, New York, USA

Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, New York State and the City of New York have worked to rebuild the site and return it to a lively and important center in one of the world's most notable cities.

Snøhetta - Petter Dass Museum - Exterior
October 20, 2008 /

Petter Dass Museum
Snøhetta
Alstahaug, Norway

Peter Dass is one of Norway's most important and beloved poets. He was also the Vicar at Alstahaug Church from 1689 until his death in 1707.

Oslo Opera House by Snøhetta in Oslo, Norway. Exterior view.
Photo © Statsbygg
April 21, 2008 /

Oslo Opera House
Snøhetta
Oslo, Norway

Oslo's new Opera House is located on the Bjørvika Peninsula overlooking Oslo Fjord. The marble clad roofscape forms a large public space in the landscape of the city and the fjord.

Museum and Hotel by Snøhetta in Tafjord, Sunnmøre, Norway. Exterior.
Image courtesy Snøhetta
August 10, 2003 /

Museum and Hotel
Snøhetta
Tafjord, Sunnmøre, Norway

A museum dedicated to represent this interesting region... fusing nature, art and technology.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina by Snøhetta in Alexandria, Egypt. Aerial view.

Photo: Ibrahim Nafie
Courtesy Bibliotheca Alexandrina
April 05, 2003 /

Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Snøhetta
Alexandria, Egypt

The decision to rebuild Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the most famous library of all time, was announced in 1989 with the Norwegian architects Snøhetta winning the open international competition for its design.

Snøhetta - Karmøj Fishing Museum - Exterior
May 22, 2000 /

Karmøy Fishing Museum
Snøhetta
Karmøj, Norway

The new museum is situated in a picturesque fjord surrounded by small, white houses and work buildings, many of which were, at one time, connected to the fishing industry.

The Norwegian Embassy by Snøhetta in Berlin, Germany. Exterior view.
Photo courtesy Snøhetta
March 04, 2000 /

The Norwegian Embassy
Snøhetta
Berlin, Germany

Clarity and purity of form are important characteristics in the design of the new Norwegian embassy. The form stands without excess decoration and is solid and massive in its expression.

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