Snohetta Oslo Opera House Exterior Waterfront

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Snohetta Oslo Opera House Exterior Waterfront

For Snøhetta, close collaboration with artists has always been an important part of building projects. As early as the competition stage, artist were invited in as collaborators, and the wished to continue this from the beginning of the design phase. Snøhetta have tried to avoid having artist apply ‘decoration' to the architecture, prefering to allow for an open dialogue between artists, artisans and professionals with various approaches to important building elements. With the operahouse, the architect intended that both the large marble clad roofscape and the aluminium clad facades should be approached as collaborative endeavours.

An early collaboration was established for the sone roof with artists: Kristian Blystad, Kalle Grude og Jorunn Sannes. One year later, in accordance with the guidelines for state funding building projects, a committee for integrated artwork was established. This committee engaged the artists Astrid Løvaas og Kirsten Wagle to collaborate on the design of the metal cladding elements.
Choice of materials

The materials, with their specific weight, colour, texture and temperature, have been vital to the design of the building. Snøhettas architecture is narative. It is the materials which form the defining elements of the spaces. It is the meeting of the materials which articulates the architecture through varied detail and precision.

In the operahouse, three main materials were specified as early as the competition entry: White stone for the ‘carpet', timber for the ‘wave wall', and metal for the ‘factory'. During the continued work on the project, a fourth material, glass, which allows for the exposure of the underside of the ‘carpet', has been given specific attention.