Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Holy Holmenkollen!!!

Every now and then a project comes along that makes you say, "How?" The design is breathtaking, the size is extreme and the appearance, near impossible. Well, the future of the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway is just that kind of project.

The grandiose project was won late last year in a open competition by Danish Architect, Julien De Smedt, and is now commissioned to be built for the 2011 World Ski Championships! What do you think? The new design is simply awe-inspiring.

The International Ski Federation had requested that an iconic structure be built for the competition and as you can see, De Smedt didn't disappoint. Given the rich history of skiing in Oslo --in addition to the 600,000+ tourists that visit the existing jump year after year-- it's easy to see that interest in the location and culture will only grow. The ISF should be quite happy with the future of Nordic sport in Norway.

The jump will be a cantilevered steel structure, eagerly capable of handling the massive weight and power of snow and wind. Near the grounding point of the cantilever, there will a union and restaurant for spectators, tourists and officials. Additionally, there will be a public viewing platform at the crest of the jump, allowing spectators to view the athletes as they launch from into the air. I can only imagine what that view will look like! And with the entire structure lit from within, surrounded in a glass-plate façade, I can imagine the the view from outside the jump will be just as, if not more, breathtaking. To top it off, the peak is cut horizontally to accommodate an additional viewing platform with a 360º panorama view over the Oslo city landscape.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2009.

JDS/Julien De Smedt Architects is a multidisciplinary office, located in Copenhagen, Brussels and Oslo, that focuses on architecture and design, from large scale urban planning to furniture and design.