The Pattern of Thoughts
By Per Olaf Fjeld
(The Monacelli Press, Hardcover, 9781580932172, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 30, 2009
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As recipient of the 1997 Pritzker Architecture Prize—the profession’s highest honor—Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn has had an impact not only in his home country but around the globe. His projects, often described as being instilled with a human quality, include the Norwegian Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition and the Nordic Pavilion at the 1962 Venice Biennale, the Hamar Bispegaard Museum in Hamar, the Glacier Museum in Fjaerland Fjord, and the Aukrust Museum in Alvdal.
Fehn has been strongly influenced by Scandinavia’s breathtaking landscape and light conditions. His design sensibility is characterized by a great respect for material and construction. As a professor of long standing at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, he has distilled his complex creative process, passing his thoughts and philosophies to new generations of architects.
This study of Fehn’s work provides an intimate glimpse into the world of this great postwar modernist. Author Per Olaf Fjeld presents both biography and perceptive critique as he covers all of Fehn’s major projects, built and unbuilt, from world-renowned museums to lesser-known houses. Never-before-published comments by Fehn from lectures, interviews, and conversations with students as well as dynamic sketches are featured, opening a window into the mind of this poetic and personal architect.
Per Olaf Fjeld is a professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Since 1975, he has run a small architectural studio with his wife, Emily Randall Fjeld. He has written a number of books and articles on architecture, most recently, Sverre Fehn: The Pattern of Thought, a biography and perceptive critique on the acclaimed postwar modernist.
"[Sverre Fehn's] talent for applying Modernist ideas to traditional Nordic forms and materials earned him the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1997 and made him the most prominent Norwegian architect of the postwar era."
—New York Times
"[Sverre Fehn: The Pattern of Thoughts is] a wonderful, very complete tribute to a great architect and interesting person written by a devoted admirer. If you're a fan, it's well worth your time."