Oslo's undulating waterfront has many peninsulas, a large one to the west is Bygøy, home to a collection of museums to Norway's maritime history.
Probably the most visited is the Viking Ships Museum, which houses a number of ships and artifacts associated with them. The first hall (Arnstein Arneberg, Architect) was completed in 1926 and ...
... the Oseberg ship was installed. A 1903 discovery, it was built around 820 with twisting snake heads at each end. In 834 she was used as a burial ship for two women, thus preserving it and its contents for over a thousand years.
The ship's decoration, and the many personal artifacts of the women, as well as many connected to the ship, indicated they came from Viking aristocracy.
Five animal heads, carved with care and detail, were among the artifacts. There use is not known.
Halls for the Gokstad and Tune ships were completed in 1932 . The Gokstad was built around 850 for voyages of exploration, raids, and trade. Around 900 she too was used as a burial ship, this time for a man probably killed in battle.
From her sleek lines, her lack of decoration, and crew of 34, she was built for speed, not comfort.
Outside the Fram Museum is a statue to Roald Amundsen (center) and fellow explorers who were the first to reach the South Pole in 1911.
Inside is the "Fram", Amundsen"s ship, fully and faithfully restored.
And, in model form, a diarama of their Antartica base,
Prior to the Antartica Expediton, Amundsen led the first successful crossing of the Northwest Passage...from the Atlantic to the Pacific, NORTH of Canada... on the "Gjøa". Her hall is attached to the "Fram's", with much information about the three years they took to make the journey (founding and living for two winters in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada). They ended their trip in San Francisco, the ship languishing in Golden Gate Park until she was returned to Norway in 1972.
The achievement was overshadowed by the 1911 South Pole expedition's success, but at the time it was celebrated in print and paintings.
Another famous ship is the SS Norway. She started out in 1962 as the trans-atlantic ocean liner, "SS France". In 1979, Norwegian Cruise Line turned her into a successful cruise ship, but she lost favor to newer ships and suffered a long demise, eventually sold in 2006 (and renamed the "SS Blue Lady") in preparation for be scrapped off the shores of India.
And its amazing where Snøhetta turns up! The museum had a special exhibit of the entrants to national competition for the design of new Norwegian Kroner bills. Snøhetta's entry had radically different fronts and backs, but the jury went for "mix and match", choosing their colored "digitized" front, but some other entrant's reverse.
The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art opened in 1993 by descendants of the painter Thomas Fearnley. This new building (2012, Renzo Piano, Architect and Narud Stokke Wiig, local Architects) is located in a former working waterfront, now transformed by urban renewal intoresidences, offices, museums, etc.. The offices on the right...
...have automatic window shades. A solar sensor closes or ...
...opens them depending on the daylighting conditions. The two shades on the lower left show that occupants can override the system.
The museum occupies these two buildings, housing both permanent collections as well as temporary exhibitions.
The space between the museum and fjord is a scupture park, also designed by Piano.
It seems if the clients are particularly fond of their architects, the in in-house cafe gets named for them.
Nested back in the residentail-office area is ...
...the restaurant Bjølsen & Moi, interior design by Snøhetta. The front space of an informal happy hour feel...
...contrast with the more formal rear section.
Something has inspired the wait staff to conjure up unusual ways to set up the tables. What would Mr. Carson think?
Opened in 2005, The Nobel Peace Center (housed in the former Oslo West Railroad station - 1872, Georg Andreas Bull, that Bull family had a number of architects!) has information about the Peace Prize, the only Nobel Prize awarded outside of Stockholm, Sweden.
This video display is about each of the Prize winners, and more in-depth ones of recent recipients.
Oslo City Hall (Arnsberg and Paulsson, Architects) was started in 1931, but not completed until 1950, and....
...not without some changes in the design, resulting in a bit of a mish-mash of Nordic Romanticism, Art Deco and hints of Germanic Bauhaus.
A number of sculptures along the exterior walkways to the main entry tell Norwegian myths...
... and a number of murals along the interior walls of the Great Hall (site of the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony) tell of historical events. The one on the left is called "The Occupationl", depicting the city under German control 1940-1945.
At the right end, the city celebrates liberation with the freeing of prisoners and parades through the streets.
National Museum - Architecture's old section, originally a ban. was designed by C.H. Grosch, in 1830.
The new section was designed by Sverre Fehn in 2008. Exterior concrete walls, with these angled windows, create a courtyard for the all glass box inside, which is used for temporary exhibits.
Permanent and temporary exhibits explain how architects work; here a 19th C. sketch done on a tour of Europe - and invite visitors to explore concepts with hands-on activities.
Akershus, Oslo'd 13th C. fortress was built to protect the settlement from attacks by sea.
The Castle in the rear is still used for official events and State dinners in the Royal Banquet Hall.
An ancillary building is now Norway's Resistance Museum, with collections which portray life under and resistance to the German Occupation, 1940 - 1945.
Tone Myskja's "Diary - An Archive of Coincidence" is in three basement window opening. Inspired by a p.o.w.'s secret diary, it was accidentally discovered in the floor of his prison.
Between 1995 and 2010 Oslo had IT'S "let's put the waterfront freeway in a tunnel" project, opening up area for urban renewal. Snøhetta has two projects there, the Deloitte Building (2010), beyond the elevated interchange, and the Opera House (2008), where the semi-circular ramp is.
It's called Barcode due to the deep narrow sites strung in a row, and it seems the black building took it to heart for its design as well.
Snøhetta's windows are distinctive, ...
...and maybe their design was inspired by ...
... flow ice, which often impacts the Oslo harbor shoreline (this photo is not there, its an on-line grab shot).
The Opera and Ballet House was (like the library for Alexandria, Egypt), an international competition in 1998, and Snøhetta's entry was chosen from the 350 entries.
And that tunnel? It's just to the right of the Opera house. "Tryg"? A large insurance company.
Approaching the building gives two choices. Walk over to the entry or ...
... walk up the roof and ...
... watch the sunset.
Just inside the entry, to the left is ticketing, and the stairs to the main hall, which...
... has this vertical wooden strips. Stave Church influence?
Further in is a cafe, bar, restaurant with exterior shading by photo-electric cells embedded in glass.
Patrons there for a performance may hang their coats in an open area of hat/coat racks according to a number on the admission ticket.
The restrooms and other utility spaces are behind the lattice walls.
The men's urinal is pretty classy...
... and the view from the hll entry corridors is pretty good too.