AESTHETICA / Arctic Cathedral

Location

Tromsø, Norway

Architect

Jan Inge Hovig

Date

1965

Background

Visible from all over Tromsø, the Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen, or more formally, Tromsdalen Church or Tromsøyund Church) is a striking landmark overlooking the Tromsø Sound (though not actually an official cathedral; it is a parish church). The building is constructed of eleven aluminum-coated concrete panels which give the roof its triangular shape. It’s unclear, though, what the shape is meant to represent – iceberg? tent? fish-drying rack? – as the architect himself has offered several different views on the subject.  

Impressions

It is the first thing we see on flinging open the curtains in the morning, and the last thing we see before closing them at night. In a city where most hotels crowd around the waterfront, all sound-side rooms seem to face the cathedral; the characteristic shape means your eye is inevitably drawn to it. In the evening, the lights set into the roof illuminate the tell-tale triangle, and it floats in the darkness above the waters below.

📷 : Tromsø, Norway / February 2016


See also:

Norway Dossier

PASTIME / Dog Sledding in Norway

And . . .

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