Snøhetta’s prize-winning design was characterized by the jury as having strongly identifiable themes that tie the building to its culture and place while also presenting an unusual and unique expression that was in many ways new and innovative. The project developed a highly complex program into a simple general plan that integrated both a practical and intuitive sculptural approach to modeling the exterior form. Its low slung form became a link within the city rather than a divisive sculptural expression. Its accessible roof and broad, open public lobbies make the building a social monument rather than a sculptural one. The building is as much landscape as architecture and thus fosters public awareness and engagement with the arts. Generous windows at street level provide the public a glimpse of the scenery workshop activities. The building still finds an audience with public who are not opera, ballet or orchestra fans. The cafes and gift shop, with their access to the waterfront are destinations which offer opportunities to generate revenue for the institution while providing a general public amenity. Care was taken with the design of these components so that they are seamlessly integrated into the overall character of the building’s bold design. The opera house is the realisation of the winning competition entry. Four diagrams, which were part of the entry, explain the building’s basic concept.
The opera house is the first element in the planned transformation of this area of the city. In 2010 the heavy traffic besides the building will be moved into a tunnel under the fjord. Due to its size and aesthetic expression, the opera house will stand apart from other buildings in the area. The marble clad roofs cape forms a large public space in the landscape of the city and the fjord. The public face of the opera house faces west and north – while at the same time, the building’s profile is clear from a great distance from the fjord to the south. Viewed from the Akershus castle and from the grid city the building creates a relationship between the fjord and the Ekerberg hill to the east. Seen from the central station and Chr. Fredriks sq., the opera catches the attention with a falling which frames the eastern edge of the view of the fjord and its islands. The building connects city and fjord, urbanity and landscape. To the East, the ‘factory’ is articulated and varied.
▼建筑全貌，view of the building © Jens Passoth
The wave wall
Opera and ballet are young art forms in Norway. These art forms evolve in an international setting. The Bjørvika peninsula is part of a harbour city, which is historically the meeting point with the rest of the world. The dividing line between the ground ’here’ and the water ‘there’ is both a real and a symbolic threshold. This threshold is realised as a large wall on the line of the meeting between land and sea, Norway and the world, art and everyday life. This is the threshold where the public meet the art.
▼舞动的平面，the wave wall © Gerald Zugmann
The competition brief stated that the opera house should be of high architectural quality and should be monumental in its expression. One idea stood out as a legitimation of this monumentality: the concept of togetherness, joint ownership, easy and open access for all. To achieve a monumentality based on these notions we wished to make the opera accessible in the widest possible sense, by laying out a ‘carpet’ of horizontal and sloping surfaces on top of the building. This carpet has been given an articulated form, related to the cityscape. Monumentality is achieved through horizontal extension and not verticality. The conceptual basis of the competition, and the final building, is a combination of these three elements – The wave wall, the factory and the carpet.
▼白色大理石铺面，the white marble © Gerald Zugmann
歌剧院的景观规划除了大理石屋顶，大理石公共活动空间，还包括与城市繁华区之间的街道及景观规划。主入口与进入广场的入口设置在大理石桥下，主广场连接建筑的西面与北面，形成公共开放广场，又进而演变成位于Aker River之上的面向东面的桥面平台。各层面展现出交错的堆叠形式。设计师在设计之初就确定了屋顶作为市民观景平台的理念，并确定了其白色石头覆盖的表面特性。如今该建筑屋顶以变化的几何形态栖息于城市腹地完美诠释了设计师的种种构想。此外，为了营造内部的视听效果，建筑屋顶较主平面稍稍升起，打造了一个全新的观景平台。尽管有些坡度略陡，坐在轮椅上的人仍然可以乘坐直梯到达该平台顶部。建筑周身覆盖的白色大理石La Facciata来自意大利卡拉拉地区，而所有与海水接触的岩石部分以及北立面石面均采用来自挪威的Ice Green花岗岩。建筑外貌的设计也离不开设计师与艺术家的合作。
The opera’s landscape comprises of the marble roof, additional marble clad areas, and the areas between the building and the surrounding streets. Access to the plaza and the main entrance is over a marble clad footbridge over the opera canal. The plaza forms a part of a public promenade and cycle lane which continues around the west and south sides of the building, and eventually coming to a planned bridge over the Aker River to the east. As early as the competition entry, Snøhetta proposed that the roof scape should be openly accessible to the general public and that it should be clad with white stone. To achieve enough acoustic volume in the auditorium, the roof has been raised independently inside the line of the balustrades. This has created a new viewing point from which the city and the fjord can be experienced. The roofs are mostly too steep for wheelchair use but access to the near at, upper areas is provided via a dedicated elevator. The surface treatment of the stone, its pattern, cuts and lifts which create a shadow play have been designed in close collaboration with the artists. The white marble is ‘La Facciata’ from the Carrara quaries in Italy. The north facade and all the stone cladding which is in contact with water is a Norwegian granite called ’Ice Green’.
Prototypes and tests at full scale were studied at the contractor’s facilities before the final choices were made for colour nuance and surface texture. A running quality control regime has been implemented throughout the production process. Adjacent areas During the building period it became clear that rapid and considerable settling of the ground level around the building would need to be addressed. Large areas of gravel which is designed to take local vehicular traffic have been laid around the building footprint. This is easy to adjust as the ground sinks relative to the building which is founded on the bedrock. Trees are planted in the gravel areas, and a zone of street furniture is located along the pavement line with cycle parking, benches and specially designed street lamps in stainless steel. The pavements are of asphalt with black granite edges and larger areas of granite paving to highlight the entrances to the restaurant, opera street, and stage entrance. The dark grey colour palette is a clear contrast to the light stone and aluminium of the building itself within a cool monochrome language. Landscaping of the surrounding areas has been designed in collaboration between Snøhetta and Bjørvika Infrastructure who have been responsible for the planning of the street around the opera house.
▼屋顶观景平台，the roof terrance © Trond Isaksen, Statsbygg
A detailed brief was developed as a basis for the competition. Snøhetta proposed that the production facilities of the opera house should be realized as a self- contained, rationally planned ‘factory’. This factory should be both functional and flexible during the planning phase as well as in later use. This flexibility has proved to be very important during the planning phase: a number of rooms and room groups have been adjusted in collaboration with the end user. These changes have improved the buildings functionality without affecting the architecture. One can see the activities within the building: Ballet rehearsal rooms at the upper levels, workshops at street level. The future connection to a living and animated new part of town will give a greater sense of urbanity.
▼大厅休息处，the entrance hall © Gerald Zugmann
▼演出大厅，concert hall © Helene Binet
© Gerald Zugmann
▼排练室，workshop © Jiri Havran
▼坡道，ramp way © Helene Binet
▼楼梯间，staircase © Jiri Havran
▼衣帽间，cloakroom © Jiri Havran