Winners announced in Norway’s fourth largest design contest

5 March 2018
Credit: Lipinski Lasovsky Johansson
  • Lipinksi Lasovsky Johansson
  • Lipinksi Lasovsky Johansson
  • Lipinksi Lasovsky Johansson



Lipinski Lasovsky Johansson win contest for forest museum

In September 2017, a design competition was launched for a new building to house the headquarters of Norway’s Museum of Forest Finn Culture, whose collections were held in outdated temporary premises. The contest proved to be the country’s fourth largest architectural competition, with 203 proposals submitted from 17 countries. Now, emerging Copenhagen practice Lipinski Lasovsky Johansson has been named as the winner with a design which imaginatively references the surrounding forest in rural Svullrya and expresses the life of the museum’s subjects through both its interior and exterior.

The Forest Finns migrated from Finland to central Sweden and eastern Norway in the late 16th century, where they practiced slash-and-burn agriculture, which involves sowing grain in the ashes of the burnt forest. The winning design reflects the importance of trees in this culture by creating a forest of wooden columns supporting a large roof. When visitors approach the museum, the entrance will appear as a woodland glade, while the columns continue inside to create a link between nature and the practical aspects of the building, housing a reception area, café and library.

In addition to slash-and-burn, the Forest Finns also brought with them a tradition of constructing smoke cabins. Light filtering though the ceiling is a nod to this building technique, in which smoke was ventilated through a hatch. When it is darker outside, light from the interior will trickle through the column forest to illuminate the surrounding landscape.

In a statement released following the judging process, the jury commented: “It is natural to use the forest as inspiration, but it could easily become banal when interpreted as an architectural form. In the winning project, the jury believes it has been possible to use the idea of the forest in a poetic and convincing way.” 

Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor

This competition was first published by TenderStream on 01.09.17. See the original brief here

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