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2_3_ScanMagazine_Issue_81_Oct-Nov_2015_Scan Magazine 1 15/10/2015 21:36 Page 53

Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

“Well-functioning neighbourhoods are those where residents know their neighbours, where they can meet in common areas and hang out in their gardens,” Albrechtsen elaborates. “Skyscrapers can do that, but people often feel more connected if they’re not too high up and can partake in what’s happening on the ground and in the community.” Hamar kulturhus One of Vandkunsten’s biggest completed Norwegian projects is the House of Culture in Hamar, an hour’s drive north of Oslo. “It was a really exciting project,” Ibsen says. “The local architecture firm, Andersson + Fremming, were invaluable to us, and an absolute pleasure to work with. The brief called for a new cultural and social hub to suit everyone in Hamar, so we created an open space that was elegant but un-elitist.”

This spread: Hamar Kulturhus. Photos: Mads Frederik

individual house level, for example, Norwegians love a good shed – they expect built-in storage rooms,” Ibsen notes, “and in Sweden, you can find houses where all windows face north, whereas Danes crave as much natural light as possible.”

The library, for example, is fronted by glass facing both the outside and other sections of the building to tempt librarygoers to explore the rest of the facilities. “The building belongs to the local residents, and it was always our goal that it should accommodate anything they would want to do with it, including big events, amateur productions or niche hobbies.”

Material culture “We were working on a scale that suited big, bold materials,” Ibsen explains, “so we followed the tradition of leaving surfaces bare to let the high-quality materials speak for themselves. Buildings should be a good experience for all the senses – including touch. People always forget about touch.” >

Hamar kulturhus

There are variations in administrative attitudes too. For at least 20 years, planning blocks of buildings in Denmark has required architects to consider the structures’ compatibility with surrounding areas, including the planning of road systems and common areas. In more rural, isolated regions of Norway, this is only now becoming a priority, opening up an area which Danish architects can help develop.

Assisted by Anderssen + Fremming architects. Inaugurated March 2014. Spans 15,000 square metres, is 130 metres long and 26 metres high. Incorporates 26 cultural institutions, including the municipality library and a cinema, fullscale theatre and concert hall. Nominated for three awards and lauded by Betongtavlen 2014.

Common ground Vandkunsten has a long history of creating thriving, well-integrated neighbourhoods. The key, they say, is to create clusters of smaller, more intimate communities within new residential areas. They usually do so by including the spaces in between buildings in their plans and making lower blocks of flats or houses.

Issue 81 | October 2015 | 53

Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish singer Ane Brun.

Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish singer Ane Brun.