Norwegian Architecture and the Trope of the Boat
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
Dr. Rebecca Dalvesco
Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Designed Objects, The Art Institute of Chicago