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Norwegian Woods, a forest with a roof

The fourth largest architectural competition in Norway, the museum aims to inform and educate visitors about the Forest Finns, Finnish migrants who settled in Swedish and Norwegian forests in the late 16th to 17th centuries. 

Hey5 proposal is a museum in the forest. The forest finns culture and way of life was inextricably linked to the forests that gave them their name. They lived worked and existed in close proximity to the trees which provided them both shelter and the means to grow food. Their whole way of life was a process of coexistence with the trees, from their way of farming to the architecture of their dwellings and this project seeks to embody that symbiosis.  At its simplest the spirit of the project is “a forest with a roof". The connection of landscape to architecture and the transition from external to internal space is at the heart of the project. When one studies the culture of these people the link between natural and manmade is seamless or at the very least sympathetic and we have tried to hold true to that principal. The forest finns processes of felling trees to create shelter and pasture is central to the design of this project. The building can be imagined as a cluster of simple pitched forms which together create a layered architecture. The building is an expression of the culture of these people as well as a depository for all he objects and artefacts they created. Landscape, architecture, art and craft all come together in this project to leave an indelible mark on visitors. Visiting the museum should be both an educational and emotional experience and that is the intent of the design.

The structure is in essence the central poetic element of the design. The intention as previously mentioned is to create a "forest with a roof". Like the plan the structure is comprised of two distinct systems over two levels each relating to the functions on that particular floor. 

The lower level is a simple concrete plinth, a series of walls acting both structurally and functionally to divide the lower spaces. The upper public level is in complete contrast in terms of both material and structural approach. Clusters of timber pillars elevate the timber roof structure over the public spaces creating the sense of looking through layered tree trunks.

Put simply the basic formal intention was to create something that is sympathetic to both the site of the museum and to the spirit of the people that it is intended to represent. The vernacular architectural traditions of the forest finns and the qualities of the surrounding forests are combined to create a combination of the modern and the traditional. Internally, simple but outstanding spaces are intended highlight and compliment the exhibitions to be housed inside while the glazed facade allows a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. For us each are of equal value and it is of fundamental importance that the design does not create a hierarchy between the landscape and the exhibits. Each are equally important and allowing a flow from inside to outside and back again created the formal arrangement of the project.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Svullrya, NO
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Design Team: Beatriz de Una Boveda, Pej Gombert, Kuba Kolec, Jarlath Cantwell, Ori Merom