Tuesday, 30 June 2009

What to see: Oslo – The Fjord City Expo

Oslo is currently in the middle of a huge process which will change the capital’s profile dramatically. In the 20th century several of the best spots in the city were sacrificed to motorways and container harbours, but in recent years one has attempted to reverse this development by reclaiming the seaside and making Oslo “the Fjord City”.
The travelling exhibition “Oslo – The Fjord City Expo” has so far visited several cities in China, Germany, France, Italy and Russia. These days it is visiting Oslo, where it can be viewed in a huge tent in University Square until Sunday. Parts of the exhibition deals with the architecture of the new monumental buildings which are being planned.
Many of them will be located at Bjørvika, something which is likely to “resurrect” this part of the city, which has until now been a traffic machine. An underwater tunnel is now being built to replace the motorway and when the tunnel is ready in 2013, the building of the new Deichman Library will start.
The library was expected to be finished in 2014, but has now been delayed until 2016. A model of the library can be seen in the third photo – it is designed by the Norwegian firm Lund Hagem Arkitekter.
The Deichman Library will be situated next to the Opera House, seen in the fourth picture, which was done by another Norwegian firm, Snøhetta, and opened in April 2008. This new landmark, rising out of the sea, has been a huge success.
On the Paulsen Quay behind the Opera we will find the Munch/Stenersen Museum, expected to be completed in time for the 150th anniversary of Edvard Munch’s birth in 2013. The building, seen in the fifth photo, will be 57 metres high and will be built by Spanish architects Herreros.
Oslo Central Station, which lies close to all of this, will also be greatly altered, as seen in the sixth photo. The old Eastern Line Station will be preserved, but the rest of the station will make way of new and very modern buildings.
Further west 900 apartments will be built at Tjuvholmen, seen in the seventh photo. The first of them were ready in 2007 and the work is scheduled to be completed sometime between 2012 and 2014. On the far right in the picture is an artificial island which will be the site of the new Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, which will be begun next year and should be ready in 2012. Both the museum and a sculpture park outside it will be done by the Italian architect Renzo Piano.
More on the exhibition at: http://www.oslo.no/expo

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