Are Vesterlid. Glomdal Museum – Disappearing Roofs: Restaurant and Dance Pavilion


Restaurant and Dance Pavilion was designed by Norwegian Architect Are Vesterlid, who is a recipient of the “Treprisen Award” for his work with wood. The restaurant is located on the shore of the Glomma river in Elverum, 1.5 kilometers away from Hammar. The summer restaurant was built first, then the expanded dancing pavilion was completed on the side, close the entry of the Glomdal Museum. The pavilion was finished in 1960, and became very popular in the 70s. Unfortunately, now the museum may have to dismantle the building due to shortage of funds to maintain it after using it as storage for some time.


As shown below, the plan consists of three different parts ranging from very open (dancing area) to half open (dining area), then very closed (kitchen and toilet).

The dancing area was designed as a circle in a square. So people were dancing in the circle, surrounded by water, with two bridges used to get in the dance floor.

The dinning area has four different platform heights, with one side facing the dance floor, one side facing the landscape outside, and another long platform along the river.


The fragmented roofs play the most interesting roleffff

Such an airy building is not common in Norway. It is regarded the most representative building of “Japonism” in Norway.

The roofs contribute to build its peculiar character and atmosphere in three different ways:

1. Spatial Hierarchy

Adapting to three different areas from very open to very closed, the roofs have different arrangements. Above the open dancing floor, the roofs are wider. When getting close to the dinning area, the roofs become more fragmented and smaller, one above one and another to get complex space hierarchy. The kitchen lies in the most inner room.

2. More Air, Light and Wind

Take the dinning area as an example: the architect designed a set of smaller roofs instead of a single bigger one, constructing more gaps in between. When people sit on the platform, they can experience an interesting play of sunlight and wind through the gaps.

3. Height and Atmosphere

In the dancing pavilion, for instance, the roof above the dancing floor is tall and wide in order to emphasize the core space and center attention. On the sides, where people sit to rest after dancing, the roofs are lower to provide shadow and a more intimate space.


The Roofs

1. Scale

Pillar distance in normal space:           4 meters

Pillar distance in large open space:     12 meters

Short distance reduce the pressure the beams take. For the dinning area, one roof is set between two pillars, 4 meters apart, getting more gaps and layers for changing light and good ventilation. For the dancing area, one roof lays over four beams, carried by 2 pillars 12 meters apart, in order to create a large open space. 

To make complex and flexible roofs, the architect tried to make the materials and structure as pure as possible.cbnwoufe

2. Simple Materials 汇报1115

3. Pure Structures

Different ways of connection between different materials. Purity is the first requirement



Photographs and original drawings from the book Timberwork by Beate Hølmebakk et al.