Oslo's funky new landmarks

Oslo's funky new landmarks

The downtown waterfront area in Oslo is reborn as a neighborhood blending museums, restaurants and chic urban living. The New York Times described Oslo as "ready to shine" including it on their list of top destinations of 2013. One of the reasons  is definitely  the new art island of Tjuvholmen, with Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art as the main focus point.  

Once a dirty, no-go industrial zone, the island of Tjuvholmen in Oslo has been transformed into an ideal destination for a cultural city break. Designed as a public space as well as a museum, the ship-formed structure is really three freestanding pavilions across a narrow water channel under a single arching sail-shaped glass roof. This allows much of the interior hanging space to be lit by natural light. The Museums' neighborhood is mixed use art galleries, retail and residential. The immediate neighbor is a designer hotel also committed to contemporary art, The Thief.

Waterfront art and culture - the Bjørvika area encompasses the waterfront around the Norwegian Opera and Ballet. A former industrial area of railway lines, shipping containers and a busy motorway is being redeveloped into a huge pedestrian space, destined to become the cultural centre of Oslo. The gentle slope of the Opera's roof has become a popular and attractive meeting place where visitors have the feeling of sitting on a white marble beach lapped by the Oslo fjord.

Barcode buildings – corporate modernity. Contemporary urban development is not limited to Bjørvika, the architectural momentum is conveyed in the Barcode buildings, situated on Dronning Eufemias gate, near the central railway sidings. At 22 storeys tall, these black and white corporate structures are each divided by a 12-metre space. Each corporate building is different with a pixelated appearance that gives them the name 'Barcode'. In between the ground-level spaces is a sheltered public passage, and sculptures are displayed in open areas.

Mathallen – a centre for Norwegian food culture. On the outside it looks like the younger sibling of the Fjord City development or as part of the redevelopment of Akerselva (River Aker), on Grunerløkka. On the inside it is far more grown-up and sophisticated. Mathallen can hold its own as the first food hall in Norway. It has a distinctive European market-hall feel. Permanent restaurants, cafes, greengrocers, pubs (not bars), bakers and pie shops are situated in Mathallen. Producers of Norwegian homegrown meats, cheeses, seafood, apple juices and many more delicious foods and drinks are here to tempt your taste buds. Local producers and farmers have set up market stalls in the centre of the hall, to introduce you and your palate to the mouth-watering food choices that Norway has to offer. Mathallens' attraction is that community and culture come together here under the common association of food. The longest bar in Norway, with all twenty windows framing the current of Akerselva river rushing past, is the underbelly of the food hall, Smelteverket.


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