Norwegian Architecture and the Trope of the Boat

Dr. Rebecca Dalvesco
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The use of the boat as trope in Norwegian architecture will be explored. During World War II the Nazis invaded Norway. In the wake of the Nazis destruction of houses, many Northern Norwegians had to find alternative housing in "boat houses". The form of the "upside-down boat" has since been used by Norwegian architects as a trope as well as a generator of form. A number of Norwegian architects have since searched for an architecture that presented a nation's identity presenting another language than the Modernist. After World War II, the architectural historian Siegfried Giedion brought to the forefront the need for an architecture that considered the local essence of place, often cited as the "new regionalism". A few Norwegian architects began to respond to organic functionalism similar to the Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto. These architects abandoned modernist rectilinearity and universalism for an organic shape and response to place. By the 1960s Norwegian architects began creating an identity in a building through expressionistic experiments, emphasizing a type of sculptural architecture. Some Norwegian architects continued experimenting throughout the 1980s and 1990s emphasizing a sculptural form in their works based on the trope of the boat.

Keywords: Norwegian Architecture, Nazis, boat, trope
Stream: History, Historiography
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Rebecca Dalvesco

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Designed Objects, The Art Institute of Chicago

Dr Rebecca Dalvesco obtained her doctorate in architectural history, theory and criticism from Arizona State University, 2004. She also has a Master of Science degree in industrial design theory, criticism and history. She has published numerous essays on film, industrial design, interior design and architecture. Her recent work includes encyclopedic entries on Richard Buckminster Fuller; Moshe Safdie; Sverre Fehn's glacier museum in Fjaerland, Norway; Arcosanti, Arizona, and Norwegian architecture. In 2002 she published a book, Fuller Speak, pertaining to the designer-philosopher Richard Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Vehicles prototyped during the 1930s and Fuller's language. In 2001 an essay "Architecture in Motion: the Interior Design of Skylab", written for The Art Institute of Chicago, appears in Building for Space Travel. This essay has recently been reprinted with permission in Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, with the title Architecture in Motion: America's First Space Station. She currently teaches design history, theory and criticism at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Ref: H05P0084