Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

The Knut Hamsun Centre is located above the Arctic Circle near village of Presteid of Hamarøy and the farm where the writer grew up in Northern Norway. The center is situated in a beautiful cultural landscape surrounded by nature that remains as untouched as it was in Hamsun’s time. The museum includes exhibition areas, a library and reading room, a cafe and an auditorium.

ZENISK was hired by the county of Nordland to design both the exhibition itself and the lighting for the exhibition dedicated to the famous writer. Both the challenge and the background for the lighting concept was the new building designed by Steven Holl architects. The challenge was combining the elements of the exhibition in a way that supports the architectural expression and is not clashing with it. This meant respecting the space dedicated to daylight and supporting it with subtle applications of artificial light.

The concept for the exhibition was shaped around the four main axes that represent Knut Hamsun: literature, biography, contemporaries and present time. There are nine topics which build up the exhibition: Childhood, Nordland, The Critic of Civilization, Politics, Flowers and Blood (love theme), The Modernist, Growth of the Soil, The Wanderer, Celebrated and Condemned (posthumous). The topics are presented on three floors using film, text, scenography and the Hamsun Web. The Web gives the visitor a chance to explore further into various subjects and is available in a form of a digital station on each level.

The midnight sun and the polar nights, in the presence of big windows in all directions, were a big inspiration and important theme for the lighting design. Highlighting some of the quotes on the walls, as well as designing a sort of stage, which exists in the combination of natural and artificial light, solved this synthesis. Biography and contemporaries were presented on the wall, taking form of a light line that connects all rooms. The present time is shown in a form of video material of interviews with experts, which is projected on the wall. These interviews give a reflection to the importance of Knut Hamsun’s work for Norwegian and world literature, as well as mysteries and controversies surrounding his personality.

Nordland Fylkeskommune

ZENISK

Steven Holl Architects

Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Thomas Mayer

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Thomas Mayer

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Thomas Mayer

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Thomas Mayer

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Thomas Mayer

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×

Photographer: Tommy Bøhn

The Knut Hamsun Centre by Zenisk | Museums ×