Sculpting Spatial Theatricality: Snøhetta’s Petter Dass Museum and Steven Holl’s Knut Hamsun Centre
This essay examines two Norwegian cultural icons: the Lutheran priest and poet, Petter Dass (1647–1707) and the writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920, Knut Hamsun (1859–1952). I have composed two double portraits of the men by connecting the Norwegian architectural team, Snøhetta with American architect, Steven Holl. In doing so, the essay illustrates how the Petter Dass Museum by Snøhetta and the Knut Hamsun Centre by Holl have both emerged as products of the Norwegian cultural principle of strong regionalism, particularly in terms of theatricality and environmentalism. A visitor to either the Petter Dass Museum or the Knut Hamsun Centre becomes part of a theatrical event in which four actors, two dead and two alive, the writers and the architects, communicate in physical terms about the metaphysical environment and the relationship between the scenographic and the tectonic, which literally and figuratively mixes their respective poetics into a Gesamtkunstwerk.
Luescher, Andreas, "Sculpting Spatial Theatricality: Snøhetta’s Petter Dass Museum and Steven Holl’s Knut Hamsun Centre" (2020). Architecture and Environmental Design Faculty Publications. 30.
Architecture and Culture
Taylor & Francis
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