Approaching the Oslo Opera house on an overcast day, you may imagine that the building is an enormous glacier sliding into the fjord. White granite combines with Italian marble to create the illusion of glistening ice. The sloping roof angles down to the water like a jagged chunk of ice.
Completed in 2007, the Oslo Opera House (Operahuset in Norwegian) reflects the landscape of Norway and also the aesthetics of its people. The government wanted the new Opera House to become a cultural landmark for Norway. They launched an international competition and invited the public to review the proposals. Some 70,000 residents responded. Out of 350 entries, they picked the Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta.
Architects from Snøhetta proposed a building that would become an integral part of the City. Connecting land and sea, the new Opera House would seem to rise up from the fjord. The sculpted landscape would become not just a theater for opera and ballet, but also a plaza open to the public.
Along with Snøhetta, the project team included:
- Theatre Design: Theatre Projects Consultants
- Acoustic Design: Brekke Strand Akustikk and Arup Acoustic
- Art Installations: Kristian Blystad, Kalle Grude, Jorunn Sannes, Astrid Løvaas og Kirsten Wagle
- Construction: The Norwegian company, Veidekke
- Engineers: Reinertsen Engineering, Ingenior Per Rasmussen, Erichsen & Horgen
- Contractor: Scandiaconsult
- Project Manager: Stagsbygg
Builders in Norway are not encumbered by the European Union safety codes. There are no hand rails to hamper views at the Oslo Opera House. Ledges and dips in the stone walkway force pedestrians to watch their steps and focus on their surroundings.
The architects at Snøhetta worked closely with artists to integrate details that would capture the play of light and shadow.
Walkways and the roof plaza are paved with slabs of La Facciata, a brilliant white Italian marble. Designed by artists Kristian Blystad, Kalle Grude, and Jorunn Sannes, the slabs form a complex, non-repetitive pattern of cuts, ledges, and textures.
Aluminum cladding around the stage tower (left side of photo) is punched with convex and concave spheres. Artists Astrid Løvaas and Kirsten Wagle borrowed from old weaving patterns to create the design.
Step Inside the Oslo Opera House >http://architecture.about.com/od/greatbuildings/ss/osloopera_3.htm