Norway: Fitting in by Standing Out

December 6th, 2013

What kind of architecture do you build along the most scenic roads in the world? Centerbrook graphic designer and photographer Derek Hayn visited Norway to find out. His meandering odyssey from Oslo to the remote and picturesque Lofoten Islands (like trekking from Connecticut to Georgia minus the fjords) involved planes, trains, cars, ferries, buses, and feet. His vivid photographs capture the magnificent mingling of the built and natural environments: both the rugged seemingly surreal scenery, as well as the spare inventiveness of modern Norwegian design, albeit steeped in the traditional material, wood, for which the nation’s architecture is famous. Rather than intrude on Nature, Norway’s observation buildings, rest stops, and tourist outposts set in the hinterlands, almost without exception, seem to be logical extensions, enhancements even, of the landscape.

A wonderful example is the Trollstigen Plateau (Troll’s Ladder) by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter: perched above a rushing cataract, with mountain peaks behind it. Mr. Hayn doesn’t overlook urban architecture, conveying and commenting on the works of acclaimed Oslo firms such as Snøhetta. Mr. Hayn manages the Centerbrook website and blog, and makes his own posters. His presentation will be on Friday, December 6 at the Essex Library, 33 West Avenue.

The talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is beginning its sixth year and is one of many programs presented by the Essex Library. Please call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 to register (