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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Norway's New Opera House

April opening for Norway's new opera house

Photos : http://www.snoarc.no/#/projects/15/false/all/

OSLO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - After a spirited debate over yellowing marble and mounting costs, Norway is almost ready to open the Oslo opera house, a new cultural landmark whose clean, simple lines have transformed the city skyline.

Architectural and opera buffs are hailing it as one of the biggest and most important new buildings in Norway since the Nidarosdomen cathedral in Trondheim was completed around 1300.

The opera is preparing for opening night on April 12, when 1,300 guests will be treated to scenes from a variety of operas. Opera chief Bjoern Simensen said it would be Norway's "biggest social event since the Lillehammer Olympic Games in 1994."

He also promised a magnificent acoustic experience. "There was not a dry eye in the room when we had our first acoustic test," Simensen told foreign journalists on a tour on Thursday.

During construction, a heated debate sprang up when the white marble, the main material both inside and out, started turning yellow, to the despair of politicians and the public.

Many said Norwegian granite would have been better because of the cold climate, pollution from a motorway beside the building and the waterfront location.

"We are in control of this. In April, it will all be gone," said Simensen, speaking against a backdrop of builders at work and singers and ballet dancers in rehearsal.

Simon Ewings of the architecture firm Snoehetta also called it a temporary problem.

"It is not the marble itself and it will disappear as soon as it dries," he said, explaining that the discoloration was a reaction between the foundations, the marble and the humidity.

Snoehetta, which has also designed a cultural centre for the site of New York's World Trade Center skyscrapers destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, won the competition for the opera house from among 230 entries.

The cost of the building was originally estimated at 2.2 billion Norwegian crowns ($422 million) in 2002, but the budget has since doubled.

Construction costs in Norway have risen much faster than those of other industries, pushed up by an economic boom that has kept builders busy. The opera is 90 percent state-owned.

Its simplicity and clean lines make the building stand out on the Oslo skyline, the architect said. "When you have seen it once, you will remember it," Ewings said.

The flat roof -- "the building's most important piece of art", Ewings says -- is covered with 37,000 marble stones and the audience can walk around on it.

The opera has the biggest area of solar panels in Norway on one of its facades, meeting some of the building's energy needs.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #2
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It's very bland and looks like everything else being built in our time. Why doesn't anyone build anything attractive anymore?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unionstation13 View Post
It's very bland and looks like everything else being built in our time. Why doesn't anyone build anything attractive anymore?
It's the preferred style of the penguin.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #4
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I mean its just bland. Everyone is trying to create these amazingly unique structures by mooshing them in anyway to make them as dumb or odd looking as possible when in reality the structures that are truely unique are the ones that are just trying to be aesthetically pleasing. People recognize things like Big Ben and the ESB like that! But they arent odd shapes and are VERY pleasing to the eye with fine detailing and local flavor. But these things we are building today don't even have the BASIC influences needed to stand the test of time and to be something marveled for generations to come. And if its purpose is to be an eyesore then why the hell are we building these? Structures cannot be easiely replaced or moved. They shouldn't be based off of fads and cheap designs.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 02:28 AM   #5
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What a souless looking thing.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 07:36 AM   #6
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Oslo to inaugurate new opera building Saturday

OSLO, April 11, 2008 (AFP) - Oslo's new opera house, a futuristic structure set to become an architectural landmark for the city, will be officially inaugurated Saturday in the presence of King Harald and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Located on the shores of the Oslo fjord in the heart of the city, the white marble building with clean lines will host an inaugural soiree with performances of excerpts from famous operas and ballets.

On the programme are Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and "The Marriage of Figaro", Verdi's "Don Carlo", as well as several ballets.

In addition to King Harald, Queen Sonja and Merkel, special guests will include Finnish President Tarja Halonen, her Icelandic counterpart Olafur Ragnar Grimmson, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and members of the Danish and Swedish royal families, the opera's information office said.

Designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snoehetta, which created the Alexandria Library in 2002, the new opera building cost some four billion kroner (503.5 million euros, 796 million dollars).

In line with Scandinavian egalitarian traditions, the building shuns splendour.

Boxes, a common feature of opera houses, have not been included in the gilding-free, dark oak theatre. The royal couple will sit among the audience, with only a small space separating them from the crowd.

The roof of the building is accessible to the public by vast ramps reaching up from the ground, where people are free to picnic, skateboard, or dive into the Oslo fjord.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 04:01 PM   #7
Kuvvaci
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photos are gone. Could you please resend the photos?
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Old July 25th, 2008, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuvvaci View Post
photos are gone. Could you please resend the photos?
Provided the website fore more photos - it's in Flash, hence cannot be directly linked here.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #9
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so could anyone please post some other photos of this building?
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Old July 26th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #10
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Wow, with these comments I thought it would be butt ugly. Then I looked at the photos! It's cool! I think it is really dynamic looking and beautiful in a modern (not a classical) way. The wood interior is a bit odd looking from my American perspective, but that look is very Scandinavian.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #11
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Oslo Operahouse pics:



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N Façade:
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S Façade
[IMG]http://i34.************/6iae5t.jpg[/IMG]

E Façade
[IMG]http://i36.************/2ppaau9.jpg[/IMG]

W Façade
[IMG]http://i37.************/34q4ak9.jpg[/IMG]
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Old August 26th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #12
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The design really is riduclous.
It isn't like they had some practical shapes and made them nice and ornate or something they just twisted rooms, beams, and windows. This may be nice now but how well will this twisty architecture age once this fad is over?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #13
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I absolutely love it, I visited last month and the idea you could walk/ climb all over the place, from the roof to the swimming in the sea at the foot is quite a spectacle, especially for people watching. I came to the conclusion the people were part of the architecture.

The stone used is gorgeous too, very Nordic in the light:

iceberg!

Last edited by the spliff fairy; August 26th, 2008 at 09:54 PM.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:31 AM   #14
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That would fit in Vancouver very nicely. The architecture and addition of lots of wood is something that is very similar to here and done in many projects. Not surprised as Canada and Norway are very similar geologically. I bet the acoustics inside the Opera House are spectacular.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 05:36 AM   #15
hkskyline
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The fat lady has sung
1 May 2009
Building

Norwegian architect Snohetta has won the Mies van der Rohe Award for its National Opera and Ballet centre in Oslo. The EUR60,000 (£54,000) prize, also known as the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, is presented once every two years to the best-designed building in the EU. The jury also commended buildings by UK architects David Chipperfield, Foreign Office Architects and Zaha Hadid.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 12:44 AM   #16
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mehhh, the design is nothing. Of course, people go there for the show, not for the building. Its not impressive though
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #17
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I love how public it is, and the slightly playfully labyrinthian layout inside... I love it!
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 06:20 PM   #18
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Oslo Eurovision gave Norway's clever capital a shot of low culture and lots of men in sequinned suits.
Alexi Duggins finds the city is also developing a quirky line in design and a boho soul in its East End
Alexi Duggins
24 June 2010
Time Out

It's a very cultured city, Oslo. Opera. Art. Ballet. Classical music. Theatre. Hell, it's so chocka with the high arts, that it even has the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

Which has little to do with sparkly capes, pyrotechnics, Europop or flame-thrower-wielding women dressed as robotic motorcycle couriers. Well, it wouldn't normally. But on the weekend I visited, the Norwegian capital was hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, which spraypainted a layer of tacky flamboyance on to the city's high-culture pedestal. 'Douze points' placards leaned against benches. Conversations ran along the lines of: 'It is sad Britain lost. Your Josh Dubovie is such a nice guy. I blame Pete Waterman!' And in one venue, an ex-entrant performed variations on a theme of 'Making Your Mind Up', with particular stress on the line 'Don't let life take you from behind'.

But I wasn't there purely for the irony-fest. I was also curious to find out if the city had something more to offer than Scottish-standard rain, £10 pints and Scandinavian efficiency.

The atmosphere of west Oslo, with its smart designer shops and stately embassies, had quite a South Kensington feel to it (though with a Norse fairy-tale twist). But in the east, things were different. The Grunerlokka area was more like Shoreditch, with old workers' accommodation and riverside warehouses converted to art schools and new-media companies. A sparkly bead-strewn chandelier dangled from the post-industrial steel girders of Ingensgate, and, on Sunday, scruffy boho types were hanging out in front of artily graffed walls, hawking bow-ties seemingly made from Lego. A wander along Thorvald Meyers gate, threw up vintagey shops, the mismatched '50s decor of cool bars like Bar Boca, a 'Chill-Out Travel Agent' and a healthy cafe scene - though, because of the timing of my visit, they were packed with people arguing that Greece should win Eurovision because spending the Eurozone bailout money on wind machines and fireworks would be the best political scandal EVER.

Oslo's bars do a nice line in trendy conceptual interior design. Wooden canoes floated below the ceiling of the tiki-themed Aku Aku, Grims Grenka hotel offered a rooftop cocktail bar with impressive views of the city and Bia hosted a workout night blasting the latest club hits as well as playing host to hipster-ish bands like Wild Birds & Peacedrums.

More traditional cultural pursuits came courtesy of museums dedicated to sometime residents Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen, as well as Vigeland Sculpture Park: an 80-acre garden stuffed with 212 bronze and granite nude statues. With a healthy creative rivalry between the Norwegian capital and second city Bergen, Oslo's keen not to be caught napping. Its most recent achievement is the city's own Opera House. Finished in April 2008, it was designed by the same people who did the Ground Zero memorial in New York City, and it's a stunning structure. You can walk up the sloping roof 24 hours a day (except during winter), electronic aeroplane-style back-of-seat screens translate performances into Norwegian or English and the acoustics are so good that Welsh singer Bryn Terfel kissed the stage after performing on it.

A tour of the building took in workshops featuring wigmakers threading together barnets that look destined for Dame Edna and men hanging from wires as they put the finishing touches on fake plastic palm trees. The toilets were something of a design statement too. The stalls' chrome doors made me feel like I was relieving myself in a bank vault, bringing a whole new meaning to the term 'bank job'.

Booze-hounds might feel they've been victims of a more traditional interpretation of that phrase after a while in Oslo. Drinks in bars cost around £6-£7 (55-65 NOK), and while beer is available in supermarkets, wine and spirits have to be bought from state-owned liquor stores (Vinmonopolet).

Eating out is more affordable, with prices starting from about £10 (94 NOK). You can take comfort from the fact that in Norway wages for waiting staff are set sufficiently high to provide them with a decent quality of life. Meaning that there are no etiquette issues with tipping, because no one does it. In fact, it's a city that doesn't do etiquette. In the habit of using 'please' when you order? Don't. No one else does. Not that they're unfriendly. Often self-conscious about coming across as rude, Osloers tend to overcompensate. One man greeted me with the words, 'Can I kiss you? I'm trying to kiss someone from every different European nation.' Was this the new Oslo - or just more Eurovision camp?

GET PACKING

Go

Norwegian.com flies from Gatwick to Oslo Airport from £34 one way. The flight takes about two hours.

Stay

First Hotel Grims Grenka (Kongensgate 5, 0153, +47 23 10 72 00/www.firsthotels.com) is a cool boutique hotel, with stylish rooms themed 'summer' or 'winter' (there's a 'catwalk' setting for the lights), a rooftop bar and a raw food restaurant. Rooms from 1,295 NOK (£137) per night.

Eat

Posthallen Restaurant (+47 22 41 17 30/www.posthallenrestaurant.no) is a delight. Located in the city's former post office, the cavernous ceilings and low lighting make it a moody setting for gastronomic delights like duck breast with truffle cream.
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