Sverre Fehn (1924–2009) was among the great architectural auteurs of the modern tradition, and some of his most acclaimed work sprang from his engagement with historical contexts. “One has to manifest the present to allow the past to speak,” Fehn mused famously in 1971, while working on Storhamarlåven – inaugurated in 1973, 50 years ago.
Today, architectural authorship looks different than it did for Fehn’s generation. The next generation of architects will work extensively with the reuse and renewal of the existing building stock as well as with the addition, transformation, adaptation, and recycling of building materials. This poses new challenges for architectural education. In both the realm of thinking and practice, we must re-imagine old buildings as one of the primary resources for creating the architecture of the future. The Fehn symposium 2023 will take Fehn’s work at Hamar as an impetus to discuss the role of the architect and authorship in an ethos of transition, fundamentally rethinking conventional ways of dealing with the past for the future. This conceptual relocation will allow us to reframe critical issues in concrete ways and establish new tools for recovering and recycling the meaning and function of buildings, in an era when the role of architectural authorship has become increasingly ambiguous.
Reframing the state of things is dependent on new knowledge, new concepts, new vocabularies, new perspectives, and importantly, compelling, authoritative examples. The Fehn symposium 2023 gathers a superb group of practitioners and educators from the fields of architecture and landscape architecture to reflect on the role of the architect and the meaning and use of buildings in a new time, in the light of the complex relation between thinking and doing that characterizes architectural practice.
Authoring Architecture in Time
The Fehn symposium 2023 at Domkirkeodden on Wednesday October 25th