selected project for the exhibition "høyblokka revisited" at 0047 gallery
27.03 - 11.05.2014
The 2011 Norway attacks were two sequential terrorist attacks against the government, the civilian population, and a Workers' Youth League summer camp that claimed a total of 77 lives. Several buildings in Regjeringskvartalet (government district) were heavily damaged when a car bomb exploded in July 2011 in Oslo, specially the Prime Minister Office in the “Høyblokka” (high building) and other Ministry buildings in the surroundings. In order to show different approaches to rehabilitate the area, the 0047 Gallery organized the exhibition “Høyblokka revisited”. Our proposal “Ø” for a memorial in the Høyblokka was selected and exhibited in the Gallery in March 2014.
The Høyblokka was designed in 1958 in a brutalist style, to demonstrate the solid state of the democracy after the WWII and its walls were decorated with murals of different artists, including Picasso, in a XL graphic aesthetic.
The buildings in the government district are already short-named with capital letters that, curiously by some of them, have a direct relationship with the shape of their footprint: The Y-Building is the Ministry of Education and Research, and the building has the shape of a huge “Y”. The H-Building is the main access to the Høyblokka and has the shape of an “H”… so we wondered which letter should be given to the new Høyblokka.
The second part of the Oslo attack the same day in Oslo where in the Utøya island two hours later. The letter “Ø” is related to the word island in Norwegian and since the Høyblokka is a perfect rectangle, our proposal generates a ring around the building to create the footprint as a supergraphic with the shape of a “Ø”.
The ring connects the terrace of the Høyblokka with the roof top of the Y-Building and its angle of inclination follows the direction to the Utøya island. The sky-park is a memorial that recreates the vegetation of the island in Olso, bounding the two sides of a national tragedy in a never-ending loop.