On top of the hill – The Holmenkollen Ski Jump

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A skiing lighthouse atop the hill : this is roughly how the Holmenkollen Ski Jump could be presented. Its shape reminds of a snow slide or an avalanche and when you look at its curve you cannot doubt that it must be the most appropriate one for the sport it is dedicated to.
How not to think of Zaha Hadid when looking at this project ? A kind of deconstructivist line that somehow discusses with the context as it emphasizes the natural slope ? The strength of this ski jump lies in its capacity of being a simple moving deck you slide on, including the diversity of all the programs it hosts underneath. Both soft and tough, flowing and rigid.hop-proj-05

 

The ski jumping was born in Norway more than 100 years ago. The infrastructure belongs as much to the competitors as to the public. Thus, JDS Architects — who won the competition in 2007 — wanted to achieve an architecture for all. Holmenkollbakken is the oldest ski jump infrastructure in the world, and has been renovated 19 times. This renovation included mainly the destruction of the old tower and the building of the new one, with the work of the engineers from the office DIFK. From an occupancy capacity of 10.000 in 1892, the ski jump can now welcome almost 30.000 persons. And it is now also a venue for concerts and water shows.

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All these reasons make of this ski jump one of Oslo’s most visited tourist attractions. Coming from the sky with this fantastic cantilever and rushing towards Oslo, the jumper looks like a human projectile, aiming the fjord of Oslo below. Visitors enjoy the show as much as the panorama from the top of the ski jump or the building itself.
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More than infrastructure, the ski jump has turned into a of symbol for Oslo and its inhabitants. It is a landmark your eyes regularly lay on, wherever you are in the city: near the fjord, island hopping, hiking around Kringsjå… In December as in July, it is an iconic building for both tourism and Norwegian pride in winter sports. It is the far monument you can always rely on, the architectural prototype of what Norwegian architecture aims to be in the twenty first century : a neat project with thoughtful details and quality materials.

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Sources & images :

• http://architizer.com/projects/new-holmenkollen-ski-jump

• http://jdsa.eu/hop/

• http://digitaltmuseum.no/search?query=Holmenkollbakken

http://www.difk.no/pages/projects/eng/holmenkollen.shtml