new kid on the block

April 18, 2008

There’s a new kid on the opera house block in Oslo these days. The New Opera House in Oslo had its gala opening last Saturday, a glittery affair with royals and local celebrities topped off with a spectacular fireworks display that lit up the sky from our bedroom window.

The opera has not been without the usual scandals that seem to dog any large-scale public project these days, including the necessity of building one at all, the resulting 4 billion kroner (500 million euro, or 800 million dollar) price tag, the yellowing of the Italian marble used in its construction, which in turn lead to questioning of why Norwegian marble wasn’t used instead, and the low-brow programme for the opening night. The normally conservatively dressed visiting Chancellor Merkel even provided a mini-scandal of her own by appearing in an impossibly low scoop-necked dress for the occasion.

From what I have seen of it, the building itself is surprisingly angular in given today’s preference for organic curved forms. Norwegian architects Snøhetta (who previously designed the new Library in Alexandria) have however used the opera’s setting in the Oslo Fjord to stunning effect, creating a roof that slopes right into the water. Go to their website for more beautiful pictures. Fingers crossed that this will help give Oslo’s pretty shoreline back to its residents, instead of being cut off from the rest of the city by eight lanes of traffic as it sadly is today.

Now that the sun seems to have returned to Oslo with a vengeance, I for one am very looking forward to a picnic on that roof and paddling at the water’s edge!

Latest link: The Guardian’s visit to the Opera house.

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2 Responses to “new kid on the block”

  1. Tracy Says:

    Wow, that is stunning scenery! Really hope we can visit you at some point. I know Edinburgh may not be such a draw anymore, but you are always welcome here.

  2. sunburn Says:

    Please, just come! We are still planning a hop over to Edinburgh one day. Would love to see the Festival in real life!

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