40 504 Learning from Sverre Fehn: Museum for Cy Twombley


Passed foundation level courses (bachelor)

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

Passed 7th semester

Course content

The Studio for Research and Production of Architecture offers a research-oriented advanced master studio in architectural design. In autumn semester 2014 the guest-professor in the studio will be Japanese architect Go Hasegawa from the practice Go Hasegawa & Associates from Tokyo.
See: www.hsgwg@com
The assignment will be to make design for a small private museum for American abstract painter Cy Twombley, based on a sett of criteria chosen from the learning from Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn. In the beginning of the semester the students should make an investigation focusing on Sverre Fehn’s architecture and its evolution through his life- work – an architectural research intended to generate ideas for the individual projects. Precise details about how we do imagine this study will be presented to the students in the beginning of the studio.
Students will chose a real site in Oslo, they believe would be the best for that building. Each student will have a different site. The museum will also have a private space, a house for the owner. The size of the program will be about 1000 m2.
In their projects, the students should think about an urban building, about the relationship between public and private, inside and outside, and between art, architecture and life, with the consideration of Sverre Fehn and Cy Twombley. And in addition, the project will be about the Japanese sense, because it will be developed in the meeting with Go Hasegawa.
Given only these few basic instructions, the students should decide everything else themselves during the design process. The discussion on the further conceptual development of individual projects, programs, sites etc. will start after the introductory research phase of the work. We hope that this short, clear and elementary starting point could generate an inspiring frame for the development of engaging, architecturally strong and poetic projects in the studio

Learning outcomes

After finishing the course, the student should:
- be able to develop his/her own clear and consistent working method
- be able to develop principles for structuring of both basic and complex architectural material and develop it through different scales into a final project
- be able to develop and apply the architectural knowledge about the specific project themes chosen to work with during the process
- be able to creatively use the architectural research in the project
- be able to develop and draw precisely own project through different scales, from the conceptual design to its final constructive and material stage.
- be able to present and communicate his/her architectural idea and his/her final project through the appropriate forms of representation, with drawings, models, diagrams, photos, 3Ds, etc.
- benefit from the work with a foreign guest-teacher and from the confrontation with his architectural thinking, knowledge, experience and imagination.
After finishing the course, the student should
- be able to formulate the independent and prejudice-less thinking about architecture - its spatial organization, structure and materiality - and its constituent elements
- be able to develop the individual awareness of todays positions in architecture
- be able to achieve the awareness of one's own architectural position and one's own attitude toward the work with architecture
General competance:
The general goal of the Studio is to rethink and reinterpret themes, concepts and tools of architecture through a collaborative project with the guest teacher in the studio. In working with architecture architects work with various tools. Construction, space, program, site, context, form, sustainability, materiality and atmosphere offer just some of them. The choice of ideas, themes and tools and the
way to work with them varies from one architect to another, from one project to another. Sometimes they are more recognizable identities, sometimes less. Developing ones own clear, consistent and creative attitude towards the things one chooses to work with is what studying architecture is all about.
The underlying aims of the teaching in the studio will be:
- to create motivation for the analytical thinking and causal architectural decision making and expression
- to stimulate, cultivate and articulate personal discussions with teachers, as well as open public discourse within the studio, on the base of architectural ideas developed through the projects
the idea is to focus on development of the individual working method through the research-based architectural design. In parallel to the main project “another project” would go on: the individual investigation of means and processes necessary for research and production of architecture. By organizing the semester work in a matrix-like structure that combines both the conceptual, analytical and intuition-based approach, the studio would like to disclose the individual potential that usually remains hidden behind the end-result of the project. By pursuing the research within a partly self-defined, partly given framework, we would like to question the preconceived images and norms of traditional design work and to initiate the processes revised by new cognitions, opened to unexpected architectural solutions.

Working and learning activities

The studio-work during the semester will be conducted in 4 steps. The duration of each step will be approximately 1 month.
- the first part of the semester: individual research with open public discussions in the studio
- the second part of the semester: individual work on the project structured in 3 steps in-between the 3 public reviews in the studio
Each step would be discussed both independently, as infiltrated into each other and connected into the main project as a whole. In this way, each of the steps will hopefully leave clear traces onto the final project. Weaving the research in and around the main project would lead students to make visible another story, the story of their own position and understanding of architecture. The short assignments or workshops will be introduced during the work.
Our particular interest will be to investigate the relationship between architectural presence, materiality and the concept, starting from an idea of architecture that coherently fuses representation and its internal spatial and tectonic qualities. Therefore, beside the drawings, the projects will be investigated and developed with the help of architectural models in different scale. They will be then photographed to test and represent the anticipated idea of the project. The final project will be presented with text, big-scale drawings and models, photographs, 3D etc.
The teaching will consist of the studio-work, the individual discussions and table reviews, public discussions and lectures structured in-between 3 public reviews.
We could imagine the study trip in two parts:
After the first research phase of the work, in the beginning of September we would organize a short 2-days visit to Architecture Biennale in Venice, with the first review conducted in Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion. In the beginning of October we think to have a study trip to visit Cy Twombley Foundation in New York (or alternatively to Houston and Marfa/Texas).
The tools to be used in the studio-work will be:
- texts, drawings and models in different scale, photographs and 3D
- the prepared public discussions and reviews of the individual projects with projections
- the digital- and hand-production of models in different scale will be one of the primary design tools of the studio
- the final project will be presented with the drawings, big models and 3D
Exams and assesment methods:
- the active presence and work on the project in the studio during the whole semester
- in the research part of the semester the assessment will focus on:
1. the architectural sensibility and awareness of the architectural problems,
2. the clarity of argumentation, built-up during the process
- in the project part of the semester the assessment will be based on:
1. the evaluation of the quality of the project idea,
2. the strength of conversion of idea into an architectural project,
3. the evaluation of the artistic, intellectual and architectural capacity to confront the creative risk involved in the project
- the prepared project-material and presence at 3 public reviews
- the delivered complete project for the exhibition AHO Works and for the final review 15 – 18.12. 2014
- the studio-work is evaluated with Passed ‚or Not passed, jf. Regulation for Master Studies at AHO‚ pt. 6-14.

Professor in charge

Assistant Professor Neven Fuchs-Mikac

Additional information

Additional teaching staff:
Julie Aars, arch MNAL,
Torunn Stensheim, arch MNAL
Malene Kyndesen, arch MAA
Jonas Lippestad, arch MNAL
Kai Reaver, arch MNAL
Merethe Skjellvik, ark MNAL


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt Pass / Fail

See Working and learning activities