When I studied Architecture in school, we discussed many renovation projects. It is obviously as so many old buildings, we either destroy them or renovate them. I believe, most designers would choose the renovation. However, renovation means spending more time protecting the original projects and how to attach the new design to the old material. The faculty building 1 Spadina Crescent of my school, the University of Toronto renovated the old cathedral into a new building which took more than 3 years. I would like to introduce another renovation project today.
Norway’s Hedmark Museum, built on an old medieval site, is the most representative work of Sverre Fehn, the 1997 Laureate of The Pritzker Architecture Prize. The project lasted almost his entire career and was finally completed in 2005.
The museum complex retains the remains of a 15th-century castle and a 200-year-old farm barn structure, reinforced with modern materials and inserted with new elements. The old site shows new vitality and responds well to the historical problems faced by contemporary architecture, proposing a sustainable solution of “opposition and integration”.
There are almost no artificial Windows added to the facade of the museum. The original window holes and skylights on the roof provide the light needed inside, which is reflected in the space and materials, setting off the place’s emotional atmosphere and emphasizing the building’s time-linear narrative structure.
It is always interesting to see how old-time meets the present, especially for architecture, as the witness of the time, how should we protect them, “reuse” them, to prevent them from being forgotten.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Life Outside of Design Studio and has been updated for accuracy and completeness.