Scandinavian architecture is always changing. Economic conditions, technological advancements, cultural upheavals, and other factors have all influenced it. Architectural trends in Norway may constantly be compared to political and societal changes throughout the centuries. During the Middle Ages, for example, topography necessitated a dispersed economy. As a result, the old Norwegian farm culture thrived. Houses were not erected in the Baroque, Renaissance, or Rococo styles as they were elsewhere in Europe due to the abundance of wood. Scandinavian architecture in the twentieth century was influenced by social policy and innovation. Let’s take a look at the history and trends with that in mind.
Scandinavian architecture is a very modern creation, having only recently entered the public imagination. When we talk about Scandinavian architecture, we usually refer to works from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. The origin of this architectural style was influenced by political and geographical factors, and it is unquestionably one of the most important styles in modern times. The Scandinavian look and design style is familiar to most people. It’s basic and cozy, modern yet historic all at the same time. Homebuilders that use this style are experts at combining old vernacular styles with cutting-edge technology to produce a room that is both attractive and functional. There are various ground-breaking and distinctive principles in Scandinavian design that may alter your perspective of a building or structure.
History of Scandinavian Architecture
Much of Scandinavian architecture until the early twentieth century was either influenced by Europe or was wholly vernacular. The breadth of the ancient medieval castles and cathedrals was unimaginative, and the older homes were constructed utilizing locally sourced materials and knowledge straightforwardly. Architects were not involved in the construction of some of these earlier vernacular structures. Before modern architecture indicated that this focus was appropriate, builders were more concerned with function than form. Homes in old-world Scandinavia had to be erected in difficult terrains with limited materials. Turf houses, which were residences with green roofs that provided economical and sustainable insulation, were an early example of this. Scandinavia was seen as an architectural lightweight until the late nineteenth century, because its castles, cathedrals, and other important structures were typically created in historical forms borrowed from elsewhere. The majority of the other structures were vernacular wooden, stone, and brick constructions built by people who had no professional architectural experience. They provided practical solutions to difficulties particular to the far north, such as increasing natural light and heat during the dark, cold winter days, despite their unnoticed status.
Some of these distinguishing characteristics can help you tell Scandinavian architecture from other designs. Let’s start with minimalism and the clean lines and a lack of embellishment characterize most designs, which are functional and balanced. Then, all the natural sunlight you need, because in the winter, many Northern Scandinavian and Nordic nations lack sunlight, making it critical that natural light may freely travel through a room. Skylights, glass walls, and open areas can help achieve this lightness. Of course, a neutral color scheme. The color scheme is light and neutral, which serves to highlight the space’s natural light. Colors, on the other hand, tend to be soft and warm-toned, with only a few exceptions being chilly and stark. Hygge, or the Danish concept of coziness, can be used to inject comfort into the home. You’ll notice gentle lighting, natural textures, and easy-to-heat and cool environments with thick walls and lower ceilings. The whole home is efficient. In Scandinavian design, it’s crucial to be kind to people and the environment. Modern energy systems are installed in homes and buildings to insulate and power them as efficiently as feasible. As new technology becomes available, old houses are frequently renovated. Another thing is unusual shapes. Scandinavian architects and designers aren’t afraid to experiment with diverse shapes and outlines to maintain a building practical without sacrificing aesthetics. These curves help to distinguish the designs from other contemporary designs.
Here are some of the distinguished buildings across Norway, Denmark, Sweeden, Finland, and Iceland. Places worth visiting and remembering their amazing architecture.
Oslo Opera House, Norway
The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, as well as Norway’s national opera theatre, are housed in the Oslo Opera House. The structure is located in the heart of Oslo. It’s run by a government body that looks after the Norwegian government’s property. The building has 1,100 rooms and has a total area of 49,000 m2. There are 1,364 seats in the main auditorium, plus 200 and 400 seats in two auxiliary performance areas. The main stage is 16 meters long and 40 meters broad. The building’s angled outside surfaces are covered in Carrara marble and white granite, giving it the appearance of rising from the water. Since its completion about 1300, it has been Norway’s largest cultural structure.
The Royal Danish Opera House, Denmark
The Copenhagen Opera House is Denmark’s national opera house and one of the world’s most modern opera houses. With a cost of 370,000,000 USD, it is also one of the most expensive opera houses ever built. It is situated on the island of Holmen in Copenhagen’s central district.
Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Iceland
The building is made up of a steel framework with geometrically curved glass panels in various colors. Construction began in 2007 but was delayed when the financial crisis hit. The Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre was renamed on the Day of Icelandic Music, December 11, 2009, after it was formerly known as The Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre. Even though the concert hall is primarily meant for concerts and lacks a curtain, proscenium, or any other traditional stage gear, the Icelandic Opera performs there. The building received the Mies van der Rohe prize for contemporary architecture from the European Union in 2013.
The ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum is a Danish art museum located in Aarhus. The museum was founded in 1859 and is Denmark’s oldest public art museum outside of Copenhagen. ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum opened its doors in 2004 with exhibitions in a fresh new modern facility with a total floor space of 20,700 m2. ARoS is now one of Northern Europe’s largest art museums, with a total of 980,909 visitors in 2017. With the addition of the circular skywalk Your rainbow panorama, the museum’s architectural vision was realized in 2011. The installation has increased museum attendance, making it Denmark’s second most visited museum.
Big House, Denmark
8 House, often known as Big House, is a massive mixed-use development in Copenhagen, Denmark, built in the shape of an eight on the southern outskirts of the new suburb. The bow-shaped structure contains 61,000 square meters of three different types of residential accommodation, as well as 10,000 square meters of retail and commercial space. The flats are located at the top of the building, while the commercial stores are located at the bottom. As a result, the various horizontal levels have developed their quality: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight, and fresh air, while the office leases blend in with the street bustle. The design of 8 House, which is actually raised in the northeast corner and pushed down in the southwest corner, allows light and air into the southern courtyard, emphasizes this.
National Aquarium, Denmark
The National Aquarium of Denmark is a public aquarium in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. The old aquarium was in Charlottenlund, however, it closed in 2012, and the majority of the animal collection was moved to The Blue Planet, a new and considerably larger aquarium in Kastrup, a suburb of Copenhagen. Denmark’s National Aquarium. It is the largest aquarium in Northern Europe, having opened to the public in 2013. The aquarium’s major goal is to spread marine information, aid science projects, and help educational institutions improve.
Löyly Design Sauna, Helsinki
In Helsinki, Finland, Löyly is a public sauna, restaurant, and bar. Löyly first opened its doors in 2016. The sauna was built as an easy-going undulating artificial topography that is more a part of the landscape than a typical box-like building because the site is part of Helsinki Park, which follows the capital’s shoreline. The construction resembles a large stone on the beach, and between wooden lamellas that cover the warm building mass, interesting vistas of the city center and even the open sea open up. The entire structure also serves as a large outdoor auditorium, with views from the top terrace and even the lookout terrace.
Turning Torso, Sweeden
When the Turning Torso first opened in 2005, it was more than double the height of its nearest competitor, claiming the title of Malmö’s tallest skyscraper. The building’s height, however, is not its most striking aspect. The twisted design has spawned an entirely new architectural style. Architects that are interested in visiting the building may be disappointed. While it’s a beautiful sight up close, access to the building is restricted to those who have made prior arrangements. That’s because, while the structure is obviously a tourist attraction, its primary purpose is to house residents.
Stockholm City Hall, Sweeden
The Stockholm City Hall is the seat of Stockholm’s municipal government. It is located on Kungsholmen island’s eastern point, adjacent to Riddarfjärden’s northern shore and facing the islands of Riddarholmen and Södermalm. It houses offices, meeting rooms, ceremonial halls, and the Stadshuskällaren luxury restaurant. It is one of Stockholm’s most popular tourist sites and hosts the Nobel Prize dinner.
SkyView is a world-class attraction that brings you to the top of Avicii Arena, a Stockholm icon and the world’s largest circular skyscraper. You’ll get a wonderful view of Stockholm from the peak, which is 130 meters (425 feet) above sea level. SkyView first opened its doors in 2010. The Ericsson Globe’s roof was reinforced with 42 tons of steel, and subsequently, 70 tons of rails were installed on the arena’s exterior. The specifically designed glass gondolas were built in surrounded by ski lift builders, and there is no other attraction like it anywhere else on the planet.
Uppsala Cathedral, Sweeden
It’s the tallest church in the Nordic countries. The Uppsala Cathedral sits in the heart of Uppsala, Sweden, near the river. It was built on the site of an ancient stone church dedicated to the Holy Trinity in the thirteenth century. French architects designed the current church. It is owned by the Swedish Church. The Cathedral has the tombs of various kings and famous Swedish citizens, notably King Gustav Vasa, and was used for the crowning of Swedish monarchs.
Kalmar Castle, Sweeden
As you enter through the vault and into the courtyard of Kalmar Castle, your footsteps resonate between the medieval walls. For hundreds of years, Sweden’s borders have been protected from here. Many people’s fates have been decided within the walls of this castle, and the presence of their past can be felt in every nook and corner.
Norwegian Glacier Museum
Norway’s Glacier Museum is a museum dedicated to glaciers. “Collect, generate, and spread knowledge about glaciers and climate,” it says. The Museum, which was built in 1991 on land cut out by the Jostedal Glacier and has been compared to a flying saucer, is set between the mountains in Fjaerland, Norway. The Museum’s Norwegian architect designed it with sharp, angular proportions to evoke the jagged contours of Fjaerland’s surrounding mountains and glaciers. Two enormous stairways ascend to a roof-top vista on either side of the Norwegian Glacier Museum. Visitors to the Norwegian Glacier Museum may feel as if they are ascending into the mountains of Fjaerland as they climb the steep stone stairs.
Gripsholm Castle, Sweeden
Gripsholm castle’s 16th-century interiors are among Sweden’s greatest Renaissance treasures. Parts of the interior were modernized in the 1740s, and Gustav III commissioned Eric Palmstedt to build a theatre in the former church in 1781. Gripsholm is currently a museum that houses Sweden’s National Portrait Gallery, which is run by the National Swedish Art Museum.
Lund Cathedral, Sweeden
Lund Cathedral, one of Sweden’s most visited churches, has been at the heart of the city’s life for almost 900 years. With two lofty towers rising 55 meters above street level and large stone arches adorning its façade, it’s a massive structure and possibly the best example of Romanesque architecture in all of Scandinavia.
Drottningholm Palace, Sweeden
The Swedish royal family’s private residence is Drottningholm Palace, which means “Queen’s islet” which is located near Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, it’s one of Sweden’s Royal Palaces, located on the island of Lovön. It was built in the late 16th century and functioned as the Swedish royal court’s summer palace for the majority of the 18th century. The palace is a renowned tourist attraction in addition to being the private residence of the Swedish royal family.
The Treehotel, Sweden
The Tree Hotel allows you to relive your childhood aspirations of living in the perfect treehouse. All of the rooms are 4-6 meters above ground, nestled among the trees. Each room is individually designed and furnished with hand-selected furniture from local artisans. In the winter, the Northern Lights dance across the perpetual dark sky. In the spring, you can go dog sledding, and in the summer, how about mountain biking? In the evenings, a restaurant and a well-stocked bar are available. The hotel is fully environmentally friendly, producing no harm to the environment by relying solely on hydroelectric power, water conservation, and local labor.