Sunday, 9 March 2014

Walking all over Oslo's opera

Australia's eye-catching Sydney Opera House may have its own worldwide legion of fans, but there's a new kid on the block looking to steal some attention.

Opened in 2008, the Oslo Opera House is a striking piece of contemporary architecture that slowly rises out of one of the city's fjords.

The Oslo Opera House slowly rising out of the water
Like its Sydney counterpart, the Oslo Opera House is white, on the waterfront and designed by Scandinavians (Sydney's version by a Dane and Oslo's by a Norwegian firm).

However unlike the Sydney Opera House, the Oslo one was delivered ahead of time and under budget.

But one of the most striking features of the iceberg-like Oslo Opera House is the fact that everyone's walking all over it.

It's even been nicknamed Oslo's marble mountain, highlighting the building's double life as both a home of performance art and as an outdoor recreation space.

While many architects do their best to ward of skateboarders, this building's design encourages them to roll over its smooth white marble and granite facade.

Watery view from the top
A complementary fjord art installation

On our visit, we were rewarded with panoramic views over Oslo on a sunny afternoon.

Given the scores of people trampling all over the building, you feel like you're in a park rather than on top of the home of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.

In this way, the canny architects have managed to attract hordes of people to the opera, regardless of whether they love or loathe it.

The timber interiors illuminated at night

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