Space.City Lecture: Einard Jarmund: Lost in Nature
[The] remote location and extreme environmental conditions present not only a daunting habitat for humans but pose a fundamental, definitive question: Can one make an architecture here that goes beyond shelter or direct industrial use? Svalbards stark setting positions architecture at its radical limits in natureliterally its degree zero of conception and expressionand in this clarifying context, any architectural decision must have an absolute value.
- Peter MacKeith, Architectural Record, 2006
Oslo-based architects Jarmund/Vigsns designed the Svalbard Research Centre in an arctic archipelago at 78 north, with the idea that every commission should be unique with reference to its site and circumstances. The geometry of the building was modeled on flows of wind and snow across the site and mitigates snow build-up over doors and windows. Their practice focuses on projects with potential for outstanding and meaningful architecture, often closely related to nature and preferably in strong natural settings with a harsh climate, like Svalbard. They also explore modern possibilities with sensual and tactile means, seeking the right character for the place and purpose.
Jarmund / Vigsns AS Architects MNAL is a 17-person practice, led by partners Einar Jarmund, Hkon Vigsns and Alessandra Kosberg. Jarmund was born in 1962 in Oslo and graduated from the Oslo School of Architecture in 1987. He received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Washington in 1989, then taught at the University of Washington in 1990. In 1992 Einar returned to Norway and established Jarmund / Vigsns Architects in 1995 with Hkon Vigsns. He has since taught at the Oslo School of Architecture, the Bergen School of Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Arizona in Tucson. Noted public projects include the Oslo School of Architecture (2001), the Svalbard Science Center in Spitsbergen, Norway (2005), and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence in Oslo, Norway (2006).
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