HomeCode: architecture

A new sami academy is one of the main projects to strengthen and develop the sami culture in Norway. It is located in Guovdageaidnu, a sami village of 2000 people. The area is arctic and has the characteristics of the tundra.

2 questions gave direction to our design:

  • The meaning this project has to the development and modernisation of sami society and culture (is institutionalizing good? How to institutionalize?, Qvo vadis, Sapmi?)
  • How to deal with the contexts knowing that this by far is going to be the largest building in the area, that the houses and the trees in the village mainly are 1 story high.

The shape of the building expresses a very contextual approach. First of all the building is kept as low as possible, floating down, grounded, horizontal, following the three terraces of the site. Each floor is different from the other, avoiding the “alienation” of multiplying the ground floor in storeys. The north façade is protecting against cold winds and the south façade is letting the low sun deep into the building.

Secondly the organisation of the spaces is informal a related to landscape. The interior is a landscape with a canyon, a rock, a cave and terraces. Could using an understanding of sami culture as standing point be a renewal of the institution as such?

The shape of the building expresses a contextual approach.

Code: 228GUO
Project: New Sami Academy Building
Commission: Invited competition
Client: Statsbygg
Landscape: Nilsen Landskap, Oslo
Location: Gouvdageaidnu
Size: 20 000 m2
Period: 2005
Status: Competition entry