Sverre Fehn

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Sverre Fehn
Sverre Fehn by Stina Glommi.jpg
Born(1924-08-14)14 August 1924
Kongsberg, Buskerud, Norway
Died23 February 2009(2009-02-23) (aged 84)
Oslo, Norway
AwardsHeinrich Tessenow Gold Medal
Pritzker Prize
Buildings Norwegian Glacier Museum

Sverre Fehn (14 August 1924 23 February 2009) was a Norwegian architect. [1]

Norway constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.



Fehn was born at Kongsberg in Buskerud, Norway. He was the son of John Tryggve Fehn (1894–1981) and Sigrid Johnsen (1895–1985). He received his architectural education at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Oslo. He entered his course of study in 1946 and graduated during 1949. Among other instructors, he studied under Arne Korsmo (1900–1968). [2]

Kongsberg Municipality in Buskerud, Norway

Kongsberg is a town and municipality in Buskerud county, Norway. Kongsberg is the administration center in Kongsberg municipality. The city is located on the river Numedalslågen at the entrance to the valley of Numedal. The municipality of Kongsberg was established on 1 January 1838. The rural municipalities of Ytre Sandsvær and Øvre Sandsvær were merged into the municipality of Kongsberg on 1 January 1964.

Buskerud County (fylke) of Norway

Buskerud is a county in Norway, bordering Akershus, Oslo, Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland, Telemark and Vestfold. The county extends from the Oslofjord and Drammensfjorden in the southeast to Hardangervidda mountain range in the northwest. The county administration is located in Drammen. Together with Akershus and Østfold, Buskerud will form the new, larger county Viken, from 1 January 2020.

Oslo School of Architecture and Design

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design is an autonomous institution within the Norwegian university system. The School offers a unique research-based education with a strong international standing within the fields of architecture, urbanism, design and landscape architecture

In 1949, Fehn and architect Geir Grung (1926–1989) won the competition for the Museum Building for the Sandvig Collections at Maihaugen in Lillehammer. In 1950, Fehn joined PAGON (Progressive Architects Group Oslo, Norway). The group, which was led by Arne Korsmo, had the goal of implementing and promoting modern architecture. [3]

Geir Grung (architect) Norwegian architect

Geir Grung was a Norwegian architect. He was best known as a modernist who worked on a number of Norwegian power plants.


Maihaugen is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Lillehammer, Norway. Maihaugen, with close to 200 buildings, is one of Northern Europe's largest open-air museums and is one of the largest cultural facilities in Norway.

Lillehammer Municipality in Oppland, Norway

Lillehammer is a town and municipality in Oppland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Lillehammer. As of 2018, the population of the town of Lillehammer was 28 034. The city centre is a late nineteenth-century concentration of wooden houses, which enjoys a picturesque location overlooking the northern part of lake Mjøsa and the river Lågen, surrounded by mountains. Lillehammer hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics and 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. Before Oslo's withdrawal from consideration, it was included as part of a bid to host events in the 2022 Winter Olympics if Oslo were to win the rights to hold the Games.

In 1952–1953, during travels in Morocco, he discovered vernacular architecture, which was to deeply influence his future work. Later he moved to Paris, where he worked for two years in the studio of Jean Prouvé, and where he knew Le Corbusier. On his return to Norway in 1954, he opened a studio of his own in Oslo. [3]

Morocco country in North Africa

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi). Its capital is Rabat, the largest city Casablanca. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Jean Prouvé French architect and designer

Jean Prouvé was a French metal worker, self-taught architect and designer. Le Corbusier designated Prouvé a constructeur, blending architecture and engineering. Prouvé's main achievement was transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture, without losing aesthetic qualities. His design skills were not limited to one discipline. During his career Jean Prouvé was involved in architectural design, industrial design, structural design and furniture design.

At the age of 34, Fehn gained international recognition for his design of the Norwegian Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition. [2] In the 1960s he produced two works that have remained highlights in his career: the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1962) and the Hedmark Museum in Hamar (1967-79). Other notable works include the Norwegian Glacier Museum at Fjærland (1991-2002) and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo (2003-08). [4]

Expo 58 World exhibition 1958

Expo 58, also known as the Brussels World’s Fair, was held from 17 April to 19 October 1958. It was the first major World Expo registered under the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) after World War II.

Venice Biennale Bi-annual art exhibit

The Venice Biennale refers to an arts organization based in Venice and the name of the original and principal biennial exhibition the organization presents. The organization changed its name to the Biennale Foundation in 2009, while the exhibition is now called the Art Biennale to distinguish it from the organisation and other exhibitions the Foundation organizes.

Norwegian Glacier Museum

The Norwegian Glacier Museum is a museum in Fjærland, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.

He was a professor at Oslo's School of Architecture from 1971 to 1995 and principal from 1986–1989. He additionally lectured throughout Europe including at Paris, Stuttgart and Barcelona. He also lectured in the United States at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Cooper Union in New York City and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. [5]

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron." It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 609,219, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.7 million people live in the city's administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

Barcelona City and municipality in Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.

Michigan State of the United States of America

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.


Fehn eventually designed over 100 buildings; [6] Some of the most notable are:


In 1961, he was awarded the Houens fonds diplom, jointly with Geir Grung, for the design of the Økern Nursing Home in Oslo. He received the Houens Fonds diplom for his design of the Hedmark Museum at Hamar in 1975. He received the Carnegie Mellon University Distinguished Professorship in Architecture for 1980. In 1994 he was appointed Commander in the Order of St. Olav. [4]

In 1998, he was awarded the Norsk kulturråds ærespris. Sverre Fehn was awarded the first Grosch medal in 2001. In 2003, he was awarded the Anders Jahre Cultural Prize (Anders Jahres kulturpris). [7] [8]

His highest international honour came in 1997, when he was awarded both the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal (Heinrich-Tessenow-Medaille). [9] [10]

Personal life

In 1952, he married Ingrid Løvberg Pettersen (1929–2005). Fehn died in his Oslo home at the age of 84. [11] He was survived by his son Guy Fehn and four grandchildren. [12]

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  1. "Norwegian architect, Sverre Fehn, dies at 84". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway) . 4 March 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  2. 1 2 Grimes, William: Sverre Fehn, 84, Architect of Modern Nordic Forms, Dies, in The New York Times, February 27, 2009
  3. 1 2 Ulf Grønvold. "Sverre Fehn, arkitekt". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  4. 1 2 Elisabeth Seip. "Sverre Fehn, arkitekt". Norsk kunstnerleksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  5. Bjørn Cappelen. "Sverre Fehn, arkitekt". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  6. Swedish Architecture Museum: Architect Sverre Fehn, retrieved 29 December 2011
  7. "Grosch-medaljen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  8. "Anders Jahres kulturpris 2003: Sverre Fehn, arkitekt". Anders Jahres kulturpris. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  9. "1997 Laureate: Sverre Fehn". The Pritzker Architecture Prize. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  10. "1997: Sverre Fehn, Oslo". Heinrich-Tessenow-Medaille. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  11. "Norwegian renowned architect Sverre Fehn has died - The Norwegian American". The Norwegian American. 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  12. Grimes, William (2009-02-27). "Sverre Fehn, Norwegian Architect, Dies at 84". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-01-08.

Other sources

Preceded by
Liv Ullmann
Recipient of the Norsk kulturråds ærespris
Succeeded by
Finn Carling