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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Memorial at Utøya, Norway by 3RW Arkitekter

 
July 30th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: 3RW Arkitekter

When a big tree in the forest dies, an organic process that creates what we know as a clearing begins – open room in the otherwise dense forest. We want to develop the memorial on Utøya as such a clearing; forming a clear spot and highlight all the beautiful landscape qualities that are already in place and in contact with the surrounding environment.

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

  • Architects: 3RW Arkitekter
  • Project: Memorial at Utøya
  • Location: Utøya, Norway
  • Photography: Martin Slottemo Lyngstad, Christian Mong, Jørgen Watne Frydnes, Glen J. Read
  • Client: AUF, Oslo
  • Collaborators:
    • Ecologist: Christian E. Mong
    • Competition images: Fabian Schnuer Gohde
    • Construction site: Volunteer parents of the victim and former members of the youth labour party (AUF-veterans)
    • Craftsmanship wooden flooring: Øystein Kjerpeseth, Nature AS
    • Structural engineer: NODE rådgivende ingeniører AS
    • Landscape contractor: Anleggsgartner Finn Andersen
    • Building site management: Telemark Vestfold Entreprenør AS
    • Project management: Jørgen Watne Frydnes, Utøya AS
  • Type: Competition, 1st prize – Commission
  • Status: Completed on the 4th anniversary of the incident the 22nd July 2015
  • Program: 114m2 of circular landscape intervention in a 12m diameter circle, including a suspended ring of 4m in
    diameter
  • Period: 2015

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Our goal is to shape the open space between the big pine trees as a major unifying circle. The circle is set in the landscape with a slightly lower slope than the current terrain, but still allowing the sloping down towards the water and preserves an amphitheater / bowl shape. When the path from the central building areas at Utøya comes in to the memorial, we lower the terrain gently along the circle, thus creating a seating edge where you approach the circle.

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Approach from pathway, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

On the opposite side of the circle, the terrain is slightly lifted and you create in this way another edge where you are facing out of the circle, towards the water and Sørbråten (public memorial on the shoreside). Along the edge of the circle, we pave the ground with rough slate-stones. This will allow people to move around, even in wheelchairs. The top and bottom edges are also covered with slate so they are more comfortable to sit on. Slate slabs will prevent that new vegetation and weeds grow too aggressive, therefore deteriorating the clearing. It will thus conserve the clearing without requiring extensive maintenance. Inside the circle we build a garden with specially selected plants that attract many species of butterflies found on Utøya.

The clearing from the cliff, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The clearing from the cliff, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The ring and the butterfly flower, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The ring and the butterfly flower, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

From the tall pine trees, we hang a heavy metal ring where the names of all victims are carved out. The names will read by the light that shines through the plate. Moving around the ring, one can read all the names. All building work is planned so that it can be performed with a high degree of volunteer effort. There are few requirements for precision, and the concept can be adapted to local terrain conditions on site. Our design ensures most of the work-operations on site would allow for a collaborative construction open to volunteers, the parents of the victims and former members of the youth labour party (AUF-veterans) – aprocess called in Norwegian a ‘‘Dugnad’’.

The ring in suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The ring in suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The ring in suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The ring in suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The spirit of the Dugnad is embedded in the Norwegian culture, and is very prominent in the local culture in the youth labour party and on the island Utøya, both how it has been managed,and how it is run as a political venue. For us the spirit of Dugnad also can be a vital part of the healing process for those affected by the incidents in 2011. Through collective and active participation, one is able to produce new positive memories from the island, and form a special ownership to the memorial.

Names with light, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Names with light, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The ring in suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

The ring in suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Beeing able to participate in this work as an architect, side by side with the persons that the memorial is intended for, also gives us a very special relation to the project, more so than any other project we have designed.

Fixation, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Fixation, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Tree and suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Tree and suspension, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Ring from the bottom cliff, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Ring from the bottom cliff, Image Courtesy © Martin Slottemo Lyngstad

Arborist fixing the ring to the trees, Image Courtesy © Glen J. Read

Arborist fixing the ring to the trees, Image Courtesy © Glen J. Read

Arborist fixing the ring to the trees, Image Courtesy © Glen J. Read

Arborist fixing the ring to the trees, Image Courtesy © Glen J. Read

Construction with victim’s parents and AUF veteran, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Construction with victim’s parents and AUF veteran, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Construction with victim’s parents and AUF veteran, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Construction with victim’s parents and AUF veteran, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Ring construction, Image Courtesy © Jørgen Watne Frydnes

Ring construction, Image Courtesy © Jørgen Watne Frydnes

Construction with victim’s parents and AUF veteran, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Construction with victim’s parents and AUF veteran, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

The Clearing, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

The Clearing, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Butterfly life-cycle on Utøya landscape;, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Butterfly life-cycle on Utøya landscape;, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Butterfly life-cycle on Utøya landscape, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Butterfly life-cycle on Utøya landscape, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Flower in the clearing and imago migration, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

Flower in the clearing and imago migration, Image Courtesy © 3RW arkitekter

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