Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015

Page 98

2_3_ScanMagazine_Issue_81_Oct-Nov_2015_Scan Magazine 1 15/10/2015 21:37 Page 98

Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway

Left: Bør Hill: the back view of the residential area and park. Top middle: Bør Hill: the view from the road of the supermarket. Top right: Havstein cemetery: the tranquility of the Havstein cemetery. Bottom: Sparebank 1: the recreated passageway cutting through the building.

Where buildings and landscapes merge The seeking of harmony and the pursuit of the distinctive symbiotic qualities that occur when landscapes and buildings merge, lie at the heart of Agraff Arkitekter’s award-winning work.

supermarket faces the street for easy access, the houses face the open green space with views of one of Trondheim’s green landmarks, Havstein.

By Maria Lanza Knudsen | Photos: Agraff Arkitekter AS

Founded in 2000 in Trondheim, Agraff is unique in its team of architects and landscape architects. The breaking down of traditional disciplinary boundaries and facilitation of dialogue are at the heart of their inspiration and success. “We hope to create new and improved solutions: technically, financially and functionally,” clarifies one of the architects, Johannes Smidt. Agraff has a keen eye for the distinctive qualities that arise when landscapes and buildings draw on each other. The architects work hard to ensure that a project is anchored in the local community, while paying particular attention to how people use the buildings and landscapes that they create. Recent examples of their work represent this mindset. “For the Sparebank 1 MidtNorge project, the new Trondheim head-

98 | Issue 81 | October 2015

quarters of the bank, it was imperative that the new building fit into the existing cityscape,” Smidt explains. To do so, Agraff constructed an opening through the building to recreate an old passageway. The passage creates a link and meeting place between Trondheim’s main pedestrian street and the square in front of the library, Folkebiblioteket. The firm ensured that the interior of the building reflected the exterior through open access art exhibitions and a preserved church ruin. The interplay of architecture and landscape is further expressed in the housing project Bør Hill. Agraff has designed it so that the roof of a new supermarket is a rolling green landscape that is enclosed by a new neighbourhood. While the

Finally, Agraff’s project, Havstein kirkegård, a new park and cemetery, shows how the landscape and vegetation can create spatial experiences. Given the importance of such a place, Agraff created an area for quiet reflection with spaces for ceremonies, everyday visits, hikes and for solitude. Smidt explains: “The vegetation, the way the walls are shaped, the patterns of the gates and memorials and the shape of the landscape all evoke associations with the previous cultural landscape.” No wonder Agraff recently won Trondheim city’s Architecture Award and was nominated for Project of the Year by the National Association of Norwegian Architects in 2015 alone. For more information, please visit:

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