Friday, 9 December 2011


Gypsy Kings from Sebastien Cuvelier on Vimeo.

What happens when kitsch is so kitschy that it's not just kitsch anymore? I mean... It's not pretty, that's quite obvious, but somehow,  it is a bit fascinating.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Sunday, 30 October 2011


I found this outside the Deichman library the other day while looking at poplars with my sister. I guess there's someone out there who really loves slate. Or maybe it's just a happy person.

Friday, 14 October 2011


(Maybe you already do?)

Military History Museum in Dresden, with an addition by Daniel Libeskind.

"The new façade’s openness and transparency contrasts with the opacity and rigidity of the existing building. The latter represents the severity of the authoritarian past while the former reflects the openness of the democratic society in which it has been reimagined. The interplay between these perspectives forms the character of the new Military History Museum" Ouch. Daniel... please, just... shut up.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


(Soundtrack: "Kristofferson's Theme" by Alexandre Desplat)

18.55 Protagonist enters library
18.56 Protagonist returns "Where the Wild Things Are" dvd
18.57 Protagonist is completely unable to leave library emptyhanded,                  runs for the gardening and architecture sections; grabs a few                      interesting looking books and heads for the exit
18.59 Protaginst borrows


          "Trær - røtter i kulturhistorien" (Trees - with roots in cultural                      history) by Olav Skard


          "The Well-placed Weed"by Ryan Gainey


          "Livskraft - vitalismen som kunstnerisk impuls 1900-1930"                         (Vitality - Vitalism as an artistic impulse 1900-1930) by the                        Munch Museum


          "Byen - en bruksanvisning" (The city - a user's guide) by Peter                      Butenschøn

19.00 Library closes; protagonist leaves in triumph

Book reviews may follow.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


BAS OSLO 2011 from Anders Sletten Eide on Vimeo.

My friend and classmate Anders Eide made this video when BAS was visiting Oslo last week. It seems to me he's onto something.

Things you should know about Anders: He really loves architecture and is always ready to discuss it. He can be a bit silent, but if you talk to him, you are guaranteed to get an interesting observation or question to make you think. He knows how to dress properly. He has good taste. He's fun. He's nice. Finally, he's talented, but always looking to improve.

Some parts of the video were shot in the apartment in which I live in now. It's in the attic of the red building on the left side of the street in this picture:

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I found this strange place in Stavanger not too long ago. Lying just up the hill from the train station, it's a sort of underground crossroads and not exactly a classical beauty. However, with the daylight flowing in from a circular hole in the ceiling, dark corners, strange yellow-greenish lamps and the sound of running water from the fountain and the underground brook, it has a very special atmosphere, and is definitely worth checking if you're in the neighbourhood.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Young Dreams from Young Dreams on Vimeo.

This weekend, I attended a seminar arranged by my alma mater, Bergen School of Architecture. The topic was the architect education of the future, and loads of interesting questions were raised. One of the moments I'll remember the best, however, was the opening, where our headmistress (principal/rector/leader whatever you prefer) Marianne Skjulhaug played this very cool and aesthetically pleasing music video from the band called Young Dreams.

The video was taped in a house called Planetveien 12, built by the great Norwegian architect Arne Korsmo for himself and his wife, the artist Grete Prytz Kittelsen. Architect  Ragnhild Jordtveit Kristiansen, who writes the blog "Mine venners hjem" says in her blog post about the house that "Planetveien is a dream of glass, concrete and teak, with specially designed and built-in furniture and surprising and original solutions". Read the blog post and watch the video (in full screen).

Friday, 23 September 2011


“There must be eyes on the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers and to insure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street.  They cannot turn their backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind.  The sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce a sufficient number of people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks.“
- Jane Jacobs in one of the most important books about city planning, 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities'

Does this work with cats as well?

Friday, 16 September 2011


While I was sitting and reading the newspaper at sunset today, I befriended an ant. The ant lived in a rock in the middle of the city. Do you see the ant? (Click on the picture to see a bigger version.)

There are a few steps in the rock. The ant is very small, but he's still able to climb them; maybe because he has six legs.

The rock stands here, in the middle of a big pile of gravel. I wonder how the ant got there in the first place, and if he ever will leave it. Amazing, really; it seems life is everywhere. On the top of the rock is a king and his horse, but they're both made of bronze, so I don't think they bother the ant very much.

Thursday, 8 September 2011


In the middle of Oslo there's a parking space called Tullinløkka. (An interesting and elaborate article about Tullinløkka, unfortunately in Norwegian, can be found here.) A former playground for children and other sports enthusiasts, bicycle riding ground, gatherings pace for demonstrations, the city council has been trying to get something built there for more than a hundred years, but to no success. However, after what seems like a hundred competitions, suggesting among others museums with green spaces on their roofs, classicistic buildings with columns and multi-storey car parks, someone has suddenly made a decision to build a "temporary" park at Tullinløkka. There are also rumours that a 22nd July memorial will be placed in time. The picture shows small parts of the National Gallery to the left, the Historical Museum to the right and the main building of the University of Oslo in the middle.  As of now, I'm following the building of the park from my living room window, and will probably be updating with more pictures after a while.

PS. The temporary petrol station at Tullinløkka stayed there for 56 years.

Friday, 2 September 2011


Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

A lovely and interesting little film. The science of it is real, says my physicist friend. (Watch it in full screen mode.)

Thursday, 25 August 2011


Naturbetong - unequalled combination of industrial look and dust collecting since 1950!

Launched in 1950 by architect Erling Viksjø, but somehow still not very popular amongst most people, the technique of naturbetong has been used in several very important public buildings in Norway, including the government building, which was the main target and heavily damaged by the bomb in Oslo 22nd July 2011. Now we can never tear it down.

Picture from Jernbanetorget subway station, taken earlier tonight.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Sticks and stones
May break my bones
But I'd rather you build houses out of them.

Chester Rows in Chester, Cheshire, England, with covered walkways and shops on two floors in townhouses for wealthy families.

Monday, 8 August 2011


There's almost always room for one more little townhouse. This perfect pink one's in Portugal, I think. Don't remember who took the picture, but it sure as Honeydukes wasn't me.

Edit 7th September: The picture was taken by Anders Eide and I borrowed it without asking. Thanks, Anders.

Friday, 29 July 2011


If this doesn't cheer you up a bit...

The brilliant version of Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours from Disney's 1940 film Fantasia. Notice the slightly absurd, very formal pieces of architecture and lanscaping. And watch it in fullscreen mode. ("Hippopotamuses"!  How I love the English language.)

Edit 8th May 2012: Had to find the video somewhere else on Youtube, as the one I posted originally has been removed. Please ignore the voice speaking (in what sounds like a slavonic language) during the first twenty seconds; it disappears quickly.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Have you ever considered just how beautiful a group of tents can be, especially at a time when the rain has been falling very heavily, but is slowly leaving, and the sun is starting to shine through?

Picture taken summer 2004 at Utøya.


Friday, 22 July 2011


When a building is being a jerk to its surrounding neighbours, that's jerkitecture. Look at the poor little mansion next to that big, brutal, attention-seeking hotel or whatever it is. The picture was taken in Cascais, Portugal, but jerkitecture can be found almost anywhere in the world, and I expect I will be posting more of it. I haven't been able to find the name of the buildings and their architects, so if you know, please tell me.

Thursday, 21 July 2011


I spent last week at a wonderful queer festival (That's new speak for gay camp) in Southern Norway. Going by the name of Jafnadhr, which is said to mean "justice" or something like it in Old Norse, it's an annual happening, organized by the organisation I'll be working for in the year to come, Skeiv ungdom (Queer youth).

All in all, it was a very nice week. The people were friendly, the shows were funny, the dinners (when there was enough food) were fabulous and the weather was fine. In between all the socializing, debates and bathing, there was also time to group up and learn about a lot of different subjects, and I joined a photography group, lead by the magnificent Mathilde Nicoline Bergersen (Check out her beautiful blog.). I own a rather simple compact camera which I bring everywhere, and use among other things to take most of the pictures of this blog, and I learned a thing or two about good techniques, composition and editing. I also took some pictures I was pleased with, including a few self portraits, group pictures and colour studies. Have a look.

Thanks to everyone at Jafnadhr 2011!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Julie: Hanging out in the stairs. Supposedly very New York-ish.

Kristian: Stairs that aren't fit for hanging out, are clearly inferior.

Picture taken in NY by my friend Julie Lødrup, on the right. I'm not quite sure who the two other girls are, but they seem nice, too. Julie also has an excellent political blog, called Julie and the City Council. Check it out if you understand Norwegian!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


How to make a book column

You need:

1 unsightly column
1 Polish guy
Lots of books with titles which make people interested

Start from the bottom. Saw the books in half to make them fit. Glue and nail them to the base and the column. Repeat with new layers until you reach the ceiling.

Voilà! The world is now a better place.

(The picture was taken by yours truly in a Volt shop in Karl Johans gate, Oslo.)

Sunday, 10 July 2011


I'm going away for a week, to the summercamp of the organisation Queer Youth in Norway. One of the topics of our discussions will be how the LGBT movement and the different religions can cooperate better and achieve more understanding, for the good of everyone.

This is St. Bridget's church in New Jersey. It turns out that churches can be a lot of things.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


After two years at Bergen School of Architecture, I'm taking a break of sorts. I won't be returning until 1st September 2012, more than a year from now. I'm leaving the school grounds, leaving Bergen, and strangest of them all, leaving my class. (See picture above, taken by Ane Oline Finstad.)

The next year will be spent working with lgbt-issues in Norway and Africa, including four months in Kenya spring 2012. The work is very important, and it's going to be amazing. For those interested, I will be writing about that on another blog, but I will also be updating this one. I still consider myself an architecture student.

School is great, but it's also hard. Being away for a year will probably remind me how lucky I am to be doing what I love, and I'm already looking forward to coming back. Sadly, I'll not be joining the same class, Class 24. They're the greatest people you'll ever meet, extremely good at what they're doing, friendly, interested, always up for a good discussion. I've made so many friends along way, perhaps without realizing it until now, when I'm suddenly leaving. Hey people, in case you're reading this: If one thing could have held me back, it was you.


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