Tuesday, 24 August 2010

SUNSET AND GRUMPY BOY


I left the bookshop just in time to see this play of colours across the sky and the city filled with an extraordinary light, around nine this evening.

 

Everyone seemed to enjoy it, perhaps talking a little lower, walking a little slower, except this boy cast in bronze. He always looks grumpy, and I can't really blame him. All summer, the fish are spitting water on him, and all winter, he just looks really cold.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

FINDING JESUS/BERGEN LIGHT RAIL TRIP


You know how all sorts of things can happen to you while you're sitting on the bus, a train etc. On Wednesday, I took the Bergen Light Rail, which was a very nice experience. On the way, we drove past a church that I had previously seen from afar and admired, so I decided to jump off and have a look at it.

Who thought I'd find Jesus?

The church, designed in 1963 by architect Tore Sveram and built in 1970, is a typically suburban church, with a park of some sort on one side, and a graveyard on the other side. There aren't any buildings next to it, just grass and trees and cars. The entrance is on the rear side of the church, so I had to walk halfway around it to get there. The door was open, so I went in and had a look (and took the picture below) through the glass and wooden doors that went into the room of worship.

A very special room, with natural light flowing in from the ceiling, and a granite angel as the altar piece.

Then, a lovely old church lady showed up, and I asked if I could come in, explaining that I was an architecture student who had an interest in these sort of buildings. She unlocked the door, turned on the lighting and told me some facts about the church (although she couldn't remember the name of the architect, ha ha).

I took some pictures, and suddenly I saw what I had captured. There he was! Jesus Christ!


In the baptismal font! He didn't say anything, but I was still impressed. I wonder if he was invited there by the architect or not. It'd be cool is he was, but creating that kind of an image must be extremely difficult. 

 

The ceiling was also amazing. There was something about the architecture pulling me upwards, I need to learn how to do that. The church has another name, "Ad astra", which is latin and means "to the stars". I could very easily imagine travelling up to the stars from a place like this. When the sun isn't up, the sky is represented by rows of light bulbs, which probably look very beautiful as well.

Friday, 20 August 2010

CARROTS AND RABBITS


Another piece of street art, depicting a carrot, I suppose. I found it drawn on a pretty sandstone wall in Oxford in February 2009. I don't believe charcoal on sandstone is a very common mix of materials, but it works. Please note the beautiful craft of the surface and masonry of the stone wall. Why the carrot is (or was) there, I have no idea, but I like it.

By the way, I can recommend Oxford to all Romanticists out there. It's a place with a very strange mood, where you expect unusual things to happen at any moment. I never saw a White Rabbit with a watch and a waistcoat there, but I had the feeling that it was just around the corner most of the time.

Monday, 16 August 2010

BEAUTIFUL SHADOW


One of many good reasons to plant trees everywhere (including trees between the pavement and the road, trees in parks, in gardens, along the façades of houses, in backyards, on roofs, in parks and out of windows): The beautiful shadows they sometimes cast in the sunshine. This picture of a young oak tree was taken in the Palace Park in Oslo in July.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Friday, 13 August 2010

A BUILDING I LIKE


I like this building, but I'm not quite sure why. It's really supposed much too boring and square for my taste, and not at all coherent with the principle of open form. 

Could be the Filippa K shop on the ground floor, but I don't think so. There's something about the façade, perhaps the verticality of it, which is established by the french balconies that replace the windows. The height is also quite good, very well-adapted to the building's neighbours. And of course the mixed use, with both space for retail and apartments. Still... Hm.

The girl in the picture is my dear friend Hildegunn, who is moving to Bergen with her lovely boyfriend, Ole Christian, in only a few weeks. Joy!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

GUERILLA GARDENING AGAIN


Another form of guerilla gardening, I suppose. The artist is Dolk. Speaking of guerilla gardening, I think we'll be planting bulbs around the city quite soon. Let me know if you'd like to join.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

CARDBOARD BOXES + ARCHITECTURE STUDENT =


Yeah, this is what happens when you hire an architecture student to unpack a load of cardboard boxes filled with books. Apologies to my boss, who had to pick them down.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

LIFE IN THE CITY


This is what life in the city can be like. The girl in the picture is my sister, Ane Regine, and it was taken in Copenhagen in July by a friend of hers, Marita Moen.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

MEANWHILE, IN NEW YORK


So you think there's no urban trend going on? So you want to build pretty, grey houses out in the country, where you can escape the noise and life of the city? So you think the city centre is a place to live only when you're young and studying? Think again.

As some of you (I'm quite intrigued by the fact that there actually are people reading my blog) may I have noticed, I have passion for townhouses. This urban version of the single-family house, existing in different incarnations all over the world have, in my opinion, the potential of replacing the detached house. While the suburban detached house is known for causing overuse of resources and energy, destroying natural and agricultural landscapes by the way of suburban sprawl, not to mention very high emissions of greenhouse gases and local pollutants because of people driving their cars everywhere (gasp!), the townhouse takes up less space and can fit into almost any kind of urban situation, while still giving people the feeling of living in their own house.

I'm not the only one who likes them though. While reading the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten online yesterday, I discovered that the richest man in the world, Carlos Slim, had just bought the townhouse in the picture (Although they called it a villa. Amateurs.). According to the Forbes magazine article they link to in (where I didn't steal the pictures, I found them on Wikimedia Commons, thankyouverymuch), the house is only 9 meters (27 feet) wide, but around 33 meters (100 feet) long. Located at 1009 Fifth Avenue, it's just across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the middle of New York City. Although a house of this kind is far to big to be a sustainable alternative for everyone, I find it very interesting that a person like this chooses to live in the city, and buys a townhouse to live in, instead of just driving to work from some gigantic suburban villa every days. More of this! (Only a bit smaller.)

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