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Competition: Museum of Forest Finn Culture, Norway

Painting by Eero Järnefelt showing forest burning
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Norway’s Museum of Forest Finn Culture has launched an open international contest for its new headquarters in rural Svullrya

The competition seeks proposals for a new centre dedicated to the history and culture of the so-called Forest Finns – Finnish migrants who relocated to Sweden and Norway during the late 16th and early-to-mid-17th centuries.

The project will create a new complex overlooking the Rotna River and highway 201 close to the existing museum which hosts a large collection of documents and objects relating to the national minority group who played a major role in transforming remote forests into farmlands.

According to the brief: ‘The museum has until now had offices and parts of the collections in old, small and temporary premises. The museum is now in the process of planning the new building. This is design contest focuses on how the building shall be designed and on how rooms and functions can be organised.

‘The contracting authority aims at designing a museum building that will be very attractive to those considering themselves Forest Finns along with the general population, foreign tourists, researchers and organisations working with Forest Finn culture in Norway.’

Svullrya is a small village located around 110km north east of Oslo. The settlement, surrounded by woodland, is a major centre of Forest Finn culture and features several historic dwellings.

The Forest Finns migrated to Norway and were involved in the traditional ‘slash-and-burn’ technique of agriculture (pictured) where forest was quickly transformed into fertile growing land. Today most Forest Finns have been assimilated into Norwegian culture with the last Finnish speakers passing away in the late 1960s.

The museum occupies a number of old buildings within the village and is open to the public during the summer. It hosts around 350.000 items relating to the Forest Finn and also provides an exhibition space and meeting place for researchers.

Judges include museum director Dag Raaberg, museum chair Jan Larsson, professional advisor Birger Nesholen and local mayor Wenche Huser Sund. A £100,000 prize fund will be shared between the winners.

Participation may be in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish and the deadline for applications is 3pm local time on 10 November.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Geirmund Barsnes
Stiftelsen Norsk Skogfinsk Museum
990 366 128
Furubergsvegen 42
Grue Finnskog

Email: gba@arkitektur.no


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