Sverre Fehn

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Works Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 1962
Hamar Bispegaard Museum, at Hamar, Norway, 1969 to 1973.
Glacier Museum, Fjaerland Fjord, Norway, 1991
Gyldendal Headquarters, Oslo, Norway, 2007
Norwegian Museum of Architecture, 2008

      map of works


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Sverre Fehn

(b. Kongsberg, Norway 1924, d. Oslo, Norway, February 23, 2009)

Sverre Fehn was born in Kongsberg, Norway in 1924. He graduated from the Oslo School of Architecture in 1948, and then traveled in Morocco and worked in Paris, establishing a private practice in Oslo in 1953. He was a Professor at the Oslo School of Architecture from 1970 or 1971 to 1995.

As a prominent post-war architect, Fehn helped influence the architecture of Norway. Along with several other architects of his generation, he created a new architecture based on the Modern Movement, but expressed with regional forms and materials. This regenerated style helped overcome the pre- and post-war nationalism that had generated a weakened aesthetic. Closely involved with CIAM, Carre Bleu, and Team 10, Fehn is often considered the most gifted practitioner among these groups.

Never dogmatic in his beliefs, Fehn instilled a human quality within his buildings that moves beyond the definitive Modern Movement statement. This quality exists in most of his buildings which exhibit great simplicity while also utilizing poetic qualities of light and subtleties of form.

Fehn explored the ideas of Japanese architecture in some deceptively simple timber houses which displayed a great sensitivity to the needs of the client and which all show a freedom from typical house plans. In his more recent works, he has exhibited a bold understanding of form and materials that has allowed him to continue his search for a new architectural language.

Muriel Emmanuel. Contemporary Architects. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980. ISBN 0-312-16635-4. NA 680-C625. p245-246.

The Creator's Words

"When I build on a site in nature that is totally unspoiled, it is a fight, an attack by our culture on nature. In this confrontation, I strive to make a building that will make people more aware of the beauty of the setting, and when looking at the building in the setting, a hope for a new consciousness to see the beauty there, as well."

— Sverre Fehn


Recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, 1997.

Resources Sources on Sverre Fehn

"Sverre Fehn, 84, Architect of Modern Nordic Forms, Dies", William Grimes, New York Times, February 27, 2009.

Per Olaf Fjeld. The Thought of Construction: Sverre Fehn. Rizzoli, 1983. — Available at   Find books about Sverre Fehn

Search the RIBA architecture library catalog for more references on Sverre Fehn

Web Resources Links on Sverre Fehn

Sverre Fehn Pritzker PrizeSeveral pages of good background information, at the Pritzker Prize site.

Sverre Fehn at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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