Sverre Fehn

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Sverre Fehn
Sverre Fehn by Stina Glømmi.jpg
Born (1924-08-14)14 August 1924
Kongsberg, Buskerud, Norway
Died 23 February 2009(2009-02-23) (aged 84)
Oslo, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Occupation Architect
Awards Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal
Pritzker Prize
Buildings Norwegian Glacier Museum

Sverre Fehn (14 August 1924 – 23 February 2009) was a Norwegian architect. His highest international honour came in 1997, when he was awarded both the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal.[1]


Fehn was born in Kongsberg, Buskerud.[2] He received his architectural education shortly after World War II in Oslo, a crisis course that would later become an independent school under various names during the next decades, today known as the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. He quickly became the leading Norwegian architect of his generation.

In 1952–1953, during travels in Morocco, he discovered vernacular architecture, which was to deeply influence his future work. Later he moved to Paris, where he worked for two years in the studio of Jean Prouvé, and where he knew Le Corbusier. On his return to Norway, in 1954, he opened a studio of his own. Most of his designs were unrealized and when he won the Pritzker Prize in 1997 11 of his buildings were completed. [2]

At the age of 34 Fehn gained international recognition for his design of the Norwegian Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition.[2] In the 1960s he produced two works that have remained highlights in his career: the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1962) and the Hedmark Museum in Hamar, Norway (1967–79). Fehn's other notable works include Schreiner House in Oslo (1963) and Busk House at Bamble (1990); however, few of his projects were effectively built.

He taught in Oslo's School of Architecture from 1971 to 1995[2] as a professor and principal from 1986–1989, as well as at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.


Fehn designed over 100 buildings;[3] however, by the time he received the Pritzker in 1997 only 11 had been built.[2] Some of the most notable are:


Further reading[edit]

  • The Secret of the Shadow: Light and Shadow in Architecture, 2002 with writings by Sverre Fehn
  • Sverre Fehn, The poetry of the straight line =: Den rette linjes poesi, 1992
  • Per-Olaf Fjeld, Sverre Fehn on the Thought of Construction, Rizzoli International, 1983
  • Yukio Futagawa, Sverre Fehn. Glacier Museum. The Aukrust Centre, in "GA Document 56", 1998
  • Sverre Fehn. Studio Holme, in "GA Houses 58", 1998

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Liv Ullmann
Recipient of the Norsk kulturråds ærespris
Succeeded by
Finn Carling