Geir Grung’s Infrastructure Projects

by Amanda Holden and Simon Heidenreich
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Hus på Jongskollen, 1964 – http://digitaltmuseum.no/ accessed 03.11.15

 Geir Grung in his time

Geir Grung’s domestic work from the 1960s follows a rational, Modernist formula, influenced by the work of Arne Korsmo and PAGON.

Shapes page

Experimental use of concrete in Grung’s infrastructure projects – see end for photo credits

His infrastructure work on the other hand, experiments boldly with the formal opportunities presented by working in concrete. The forms are striking, despite generally being located on sites that are inaccessible to the public.

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Røldal-Suldal Power Station, 1965 – https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki accessed 03.11.15

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Exploded Axonometric of Røldal-Suldal Power Station

Grung’s buildings, though functional, express a desire to push the possibilities of shell concrete structures. He explores the graceful interaction between horizontal and vertical elements and creates a hierarchy between the structural concrete elements and curtain walling elements, in which the concrete dominates delicately recessed curtain walling. In contrast to domestic scale projects, the large, open volumes required in infrastructure projects gave grounds for the use of shell concrete, because it could be engineered to cover large spans, acting in tension.

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Petrochemical Plant, Rafnes – Byggekunst 1966 nr. 7, s. 183f

The sheer scale of the infrastructure projects provided the opportunity for this experimentation. In his domestic works Grung was constrained by budget restrictions and function. The enormity of the budget in the infrastructure projects allowed the design freedom to play with materiality, in an era where the potential of concrete reinforcement was just being realised.

Circles page

The circle in Grung’s work – see end for photo credits

The circle in Geir Grung’s work

Circular spaces are a dominant feature in Grung’s work. He makes the room he deems most important circular in plan. This is often the control room. The circular spaces appear to symbolise a central nucleus, which can survey and dictate to all in the surrounding landscape.

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Nesflaten Power Station, 1965 – https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki accessed 03.11.15

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Exploded Axonometric of Nesflaten Power Station

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Control room of Nesflaten Power Station – Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl

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Control room of Nesflaten Power Station – Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl

He creates majestic working environments, which underline once again his ambition to push the boundaries of concrete construction, creating expansive, column free spaces.

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Ullevål Understajon Plan courtesy of Plan- og bygningsetaten

The original drawings from the Ullevål Understasjon, depict Grung’s detailed focus on the circular control centre.

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Ullevål Understajon Detailed Plan courtesy of Plan- og bygningsetaten

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Ullevål Understajon courtesy of Plan- og bygningsetaten

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Ullevål Understajon Elevation courtesy of Plan- og bygningsetaten

Bibliography
– Alf Bøe,Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl
– Norsk arkitekturmuseum, Arkitekt Geir Grung : et modernistisk temperament, 1994, Oslo: Norsk arkitekturmuseum
Photo credits
Experimental use of concrete in Grung’s infrastructure projects from top left.
– Smestad Innføringsstasjon – http://digitaltmuseum.no/ accessed 03.11.15
– Røldal-Suldal Power Station -Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl
– Bryn Industrihus ventilation and mechanical plant, Oslo – Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl
– Unbuilt petrol station – Byggekunst 1966 nr. 7, s. 183f
– Nesflaten Power Station Buildings – Wallpaper, Dec 2009
– Bryn Industrihus ventilation and mechanical plant, Oslo shown in the context of the building- Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl
The circle in Grung’s work from top left
– Manufacturing building, Oslo – Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo:
– Arkitekturforl
– Nesflaten Power Station – https://www.tumblr.com/ accessed 03.11.15
– Martens Brødfabrikk, Bergen – Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl
– Nesflaten Power Station – https://www.tumblr.com/ accessed 03.11.15
– Nesflaten Power Station – Norsk arkitekturmuseum, Arkitekt Geir Grung : et modernistisk temperament, 1994, Oslo: Norsk arkitekturmuseum
– Martens Brødfabrikk, Bergen – Alf Bøe, Geir Grung : arkitekten og hans verk, 2001, Oslo: Arkitekturforl
– Staircase administrative building – Byggekunst 1966 nr. 7, s. 183f
– Plant, Rafnes – Byggekunst 1966 nr. 7, s. 183f