Sverre Fehn (August 14th, 1924 – February 23rd, 2009) was a Norwegian architect born in Kongsberg. He received his architectural education shortly after World War II in Oslo. In 1952/53, while traveling in Morocco, he discovered primitive architecture, which deeply influenced his later work.
Subsequently he moved to Paris and worked for two years in the studio of Jean Prouvé. There he made the acquaintance of Le Corbusier. Upon his return to Norway in 1954, he opened a studio of his own.
At the age of 34 Fehn gained international recognition for his design of the Norwegian Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition. In the 1960s he produced two works that have remained highlights in his career: the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1962) and the Hedmark museum in Hamar, Norway (1967–1979). Fehn's other notable works include Schreiner House in Oslo (1963) and Busk House at Bamble (1990); however, few of his projects were effectively built.
As a prominent post-war architect, Fehn helped to define Norwegian architecture after the second world war. Along with several other architects of his generation, he created a new architecture based on the Modern Movement, but expressed with regional forms and materials. Never dogmatic in his beliefs, Fehn instilled a human quality within his buildings that goes beyond the Modern Movement. One of his famous buildings is the Exhibition Pavilion, Norwegian Museum of Architecture.
Sverre Fehn taught at the Oslo School of Architecture from 1971 to 1991 as well as at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The architect’s highest international honour came in 1997, when he was awarded both the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal.
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