Snøhetta's 'A House to Die In' Blocked

John Hill
22. 8月 2018
Rendering of A House to Die In (Image: Snøhetta)

The Oslo Council has blocked artist Bjarne Melgaard's attempt to build his "death house" and atelier, designed by Snøhetta, near the site of Edvard Munch's studio.

Recently Snøhetta has unveiled a number of daring – some may say wacky – proposals for small projects in Norway's natural environments: an underwater restaurant on the coast, a hotel at the foot of the Svartisen glacier, and a planetarium in the dense forest of Harestua. But A House to Die In for controversial artist Bjarne Melgaard has drawn the most attention, both for its stealth-like and cartoonish architectural design and its proximity to Edvard Munch's house and studio.

​An image from Snøhetta's website illustrates the proposed site, which is owned by Olav and Frederik Selvaag, the brothers who control Norway’s Selvaag Group:

Image: Screenshot from Snøhetta's website

Even though the brothers made the site available for the artist to build a house for himself and his parents, the Oslo Council would prefer open space, as the site is now. As quoted at The Local Norway, councillors said in a statement: "We want the site where the death house was intended to be placed to remain a green area for the benefit of the local population, and we encourages [sic] Bjarne to find a new site for the project."

In the same article the artist asserted "There is great opposition to new things in Norway," but he would not say if he plans on realizing the project elsewhere.

Rendering of A House to Die In (Image: Snøhetta)

This is the second bit of bad news for Snøhetta this month. In early August, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated 500 Madison Avenue a city landmark, sending the firm back to the drawing board for their alterations of the building designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in the 1980s for AT&T.