Embracing the spirit of a poet

The Norwegian writer and musician, Alf Proeysen, was one of the greatest poets of his generation. To commemorate his 100th anniversary in 2014, a private initiative raised the funds to create a new national cultural centre in his memory.

Troldtekt Prøysenhuset
Photo: Tommy Kosior, Troldtekt A/S

Snøhetta architects were commissioned to design a building which would appeal both to adults and children and, at the same time, be a gathering point for young musicians and authors. The overall idea for the Proeysenhuset cultural centre was to continue Alf Proeysen as a storyteller through the house’s visual character.

The 1,000 sqm building accommodates a small shop, a café with a fireplace and baking oven, as well as a terrace with view down to the old Proeysen farm, together with a theatre for about 200 people. This has a double aspect stage enabling shows to be seen also from the café. In addition, there is a permanent exhibition with smaller rooms, as well as a small library containing Proeysen books and publications. To access the centre, visitors are led along a very attractive boardwalk through the woods.

The outer skin is a cladding of treated pine wood battens in an uneven pattern plus colourful cement fibre panels with an acrylic finish. This creates a slight transparency into the underlying red facade which is exposed on the front of the terrace and by the entrance. The atmosphere of the interior is unpretentious with solid wooden floors and plywood veneered walls and contrasting painted colours on fixed and loose furniture. Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed on most of the ceilings throughout to help create a noise free, attractive and healthy environment.