Opera House

Site: Oslo, Norway

Status: Conceptual Design

Program: Cultural

Client: Norwegian National Opera and Ballet

The Opera House research forms a multiple strain of mobius wraps that allow open programming and deep planning to activate the harbor site condition in Oslo, Norway.  A mobius wrap operates through one surface intertwining and folding itself, but in the Opera House there are two dynamic strains of mobius wraps, one public and one private.  When the two integrate it creates a third condition of open programming of unstable events and activities of operatic programming.  This transformative program activates a hybrid condition between public performance and private production where students and the community can take part in the performative cultural events. Opera House exposes the spatial borders of hidden territories between spectator and spectacle.


Opera House is organized like a horizontal street with opera programs plugged in creating a multi level operatic vertical city.  There is a small theater for experimental performances with media screens, and the larger theater is a more formal chamber with stage. The building is part of a pier on the site, hovering above the water allowing it to be an island of theater culture and outdoor performances. The axis of the theaters allocate according to the opening of the stages towards the city.  These exposed sections allow the city to open to the performative theater events and unfold the events into the urban landscape. The design strategy of these articulating open sections transforms the differentiated programs to overlap one another in the deep planning process.