Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect

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Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect

The Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø is the Norwegian architect Jan Inge Hovik’s most iconic building. However, Hovig designed late modernist buildings in several northern Norwegian cities.

Jan Inge Hovig (1900-1969) was born in Nord-Trøndelag and finished his studies at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim, in 1946.

Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect
Jan Inge Hovig in front of photo of Harstad church

Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect
The northern city of Narvik had been devastated in battle during 1940 as part of the Norwegian Campaign of the German invasion of Norway, and Hovik was part of the reconstruction of the city 1947-1950.

Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect
Harstad cinema. Photo: Terje Solvang (Norwegian National Museum)

Related: Tromsø – Paris of the North

During the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Hovig represented Norway at the Architectural Exhibition.

The Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø
The Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø (feature image on top) is Hovik’s most notable work. It was drafted in 1960 and completed in 1965.  “The shape, color and location let the building take command and radiate a rare power in the landscape,” writes Professor Einar Dæhli in his church architecture history book “Modernism 1900s”

Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect
Harstad swimming hall. Photo: Terje Solvang (Norwegian National Museum)

The cathedral is a visible landmark to be seen from the Tromsø Sound, the Tromsø Bridge and when landing in Tromsø by air. The cathedral’s form is provided by the 11 aluminum-coated panels on each side of the roof.

Related: Seasons. Weather and Climate in Northern Norway

The cathedral’s organ was built in 2005 by Grönlunds Orgelbyggeri and is masterly adapted to the cathedral’s architecture. It provides associations with sails and ice floes.

Post-war buildings in Northern Norway
Jan Inge Hovig also designed many of the most important buildings in Northern Norway after the war. He used teak, marble, copper and leather when he designed the Harstad Cinema. To meet modern demands, some of the structure has been changed, but most of the original elements, and not least the atmosphere, have been maintained.

Related: A Norwegian Architectural Masterpiece That Changed the Face of Brutalism

Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect
Jan Inge Hovig’s villa

Alfheim Swimming hall in Tromsø is built in a residential district above the city center. It is easily seen from the Tromsø Sound and the mainland towards the east. The pool component has large glass walls, terminating with a tapering roof connected to a second building which from some angles appears to be hovering in mid-air.

Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect
Alfheim Swimmung Hall, Tromsø. Photo: Yngve Olsen Sæbbe

Jan Inge Hovig died of myocardial infaction in June 1977, just one week after his wedding ceremony with the famous television chef Espelid Hovin.

Feature image (on top): Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø. Photo: Siri Uldal (Store norske leksikon)

Rooms for Togetherness by Norwegian Architect, written by Tor Kjolberg

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