Ode to Osaka – Now in Oslo


Ode to Osaka explores architect Sverre Fehn’s design for the Nordic Pavilion at the World Expo in Osaka, Japan in 1970. Fehn took part in a competition to design the Nordic Pavillion for the exhibition, without winning. Fehn’s proposal has now been recreated at the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo.

Fehn’s concept is described as consisting of “two inflatable forms, in which the fresh air would stand in contrast to Osaka’s heavily polluted air outside.” Seventy-seven countries contributed to the exhibition, the main theme of which was “Progress and Harmony for Mankind”.

The new installation has been constructed within Fehn’s existing pavilion (2008). Visitors are able to enter the pulsating pavilion and experience it from the outside.

Fehn’s sinuous pavilion would have consisted of two air-filled, interdependently moving chambers containing an atmosphere cleansed of and protected from outside pollution.

Fehn (1924-2009) received international attention for his Norwegian Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958, as well as in 1962 for his Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Born in Kongsberg, Fehn attended what is now known as the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) and received his degree in 1949.

He was both a professor at the AHO from 1971 to 1995, and the educational institution’s rector between 1986 and 1989.

Ode to Osaka is on display through September 13.

The reconstruction is curated by Jérémie McGowan, Berit Johanne Henjum and Manthey Kula Architects.

The National Museum – Architecture

Address: Bankplassen 3, Oslo

Ode to Osaka – Now in Oslo, written by Tor Kjolberg