Spring 2015 Norway

Oslo - Bergen - Stavanger, Norway

The conference has reached maximum registration and is now closed to further registrations.

  • June 21 - 24 : Oslo
  • June 25 - 27 : Bergen
  • June 28 - 30 : Stavanger - Add On
Overview | Letter from the Chair | Conference Highlights


The Norway conference will be arranged so you can attend all three sections, the first two, or the last two. There are international flights to all three cities.

Conference Overview

We will visit three cities - Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger - as well as rural places and projects in between.  We will get an historical prospective by visiting a few key structures - a traditional wood farm village, a Stave Church as well as some 19th and 20th century projects.  We will then visit new projects, with their architects, to learn how the evolving culture is influencing today's architecture and design.

These firms represent a wide variety of ages, nationalities, sizes of practices, and types of work. Some projects are bigger, some very small.  In all cases the projects are rooted in Norwegian traditions while being innovative in their form and craft.

A detailed itinerary is in the works and will be available on the COD website in early January.  Registration will be up in late January.  For now, a list of proposed projects to visit can be seen by downloading the file: 2015 COD Norway Conference Itinerary Highlights.

A Letter from the Chair

So, why go look at Norwegian architecture?

I have admired recent Norwegian architecture through publications for its intriguing forms, details, and use of materials and color.  The projects are modern, yet they seem to have a distinct quality that I can only ascribe to being uniquely influenced by the local environment and culture.

Before visiting to scout for this conference, I did not fully appreciate how pervasive high quality design is throughout the country.  We consciously decided to focus on work by
architects living and working in Norway and, due to time constraints, opted to focus on the southern part of the country.

This is a great time to visit.  The wealth of the country increasingly draws international architects and influence.  The projects we will visit vary in size and character but they suggest an alternative to the growing homogenization of design.

As Rinehard Kropf, of Helen & Hard Architects in Stavanger told us, "We only want to work where we live."  Like other architects we will visit, their work illustrates inventive design that is inspired by and, in turn, contributes to place making. 

The main conference will be in Oslo and Bergen.  We will then have an add-on segment to travel from Bergen, through the fjord landscape, to Stavanger where some very interesting new work is cropping up.

We will open the conference with a reception at Snohetta's office on the Oslo waterfront.  The final dinner will be in a monastery overlooking fields and a beautiful harbor on the North Sea outside Stavanger.

Hope you will join us.  Like all COD conferences I think you will find it inspiring.

Jim Childress, FAIA
2015 COD Chair

Conference Highlights


The conference begins with a visit to the Hedmark Museum in Hamar designed by Sverre Fehn - perhaps the most influential project by this Pritzker Prize- winning architect.

We will meet and visit projects by architects working currently who have had a strong influence on contemporary Norwegian design.  Some have worked abroad, some only in Norway but they all have a body of work that has been published internationally.  These include Kristin Jarmund, Jarmund Vignsaes, Reiulf Ramstad, Snohetta, Knut Hjeltnes, Jensen + Skodvin, Carl-Viggo Holmebakk, Stein Halvorsen, Todd Saunders, and Helen & Hard, among others.

We will also visit work by a few of the up-and-coming generation of architects who are beginning to win major commissions and are highly regarded by their peers in Norway.   These include Atelier Oslo, Element Architects, 3RW, and Haga Grov, among others.  

The projects we'll visit include a variety of large buildings, modest houses, housing projects, churches, schools, and a coffee shop.   Each provides an example of recent design that responds to the local environment and culture. 

Through the course of the conference we will visit traditional wood buildings - a Stave Church, the Bryggen wooden wharf structures in Bergen, and a collection of traditional farmhouses outside Oslo and Stavanger. From the early 20th century we will visit Fredrik Lund's Enebolig Konow house in Bergen, the Oslo City Hall and functionalist (the beginning of modernism in Norway) buildings in Oslo and Bergen.

The conference includes a visit to Nansen Park in Oslo, a large new park by Bjorbekk & Lindheim to learn about current landscape design in Norway.

To experience the natural landscape of Norway we will spend a day traveling from Oslo to Bergen, stopping at projects along the way.  The drive will take us up and over the high plateau and into the fjords with visits to a few of the National Tourist Route stops including the Aurland Overlook by Saunders Architecture, above the Sognefjord. 

As an add-on we will travel by bus and ferry through the southern Fjords to Stavanger. Along the way we will visit National Tourist Route stops and Peter Zumthor's recently- completed Zinc Mine Museum. 

Stavanger is recognized by Norwegian architects as the city, second to Oslo, where the most adventuresome new architecture is being created in southern Norway.  Once a remote fishing village, the city is now a center for the North Sea oil industry.  We will visit modest size projects, designed by both local and Oslo architects.