Danish architect designs flagship Norwegian whale centre

Danish designer Dorte Mandrup will be the architect behind a visitors’ centre for whale spotters northern Norway.

Danish architect designs flagship Norwegian whale centre
An Orca photographed within the Norwegian Arctic Circle. File photo: Olivier MORIN / AFP

The centre, named The Whale, will be located at Andenes, 300 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, Norwegian business media E24 and Danish newspaper Berlingske reported.

Initially launched in May 2018 at an estimated cost of around 200 million Norwegian kroner, the project is priced at up to 350 million Norwegian kroner, according to E24 and Berlingske. It is expected to be completed in 2022.

The whale centre has already attracted attention from travel publisher Lonely Planet.

According to the website of Mandrup’s archictectural firm, the building “rises as a soft hill on the rocky shore – as if a giant had lifted a thin layer of the crust of the earth and created a cavity underneath”.

Up to 70,000 people annually have been projected to visit the remote wildlife centre, which will be a combination of museum and tourist attraction.

Because of its geographical position, scenery and wildlife at Andenes makes the area a unique attraction.

That includes a midnight sun for two months from May to July, as well as the winter polar nights, when the sun doesn’t rise at all.

READ ALSO: North Norway's polar night is about to begin. Here are the facts you need to know

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Y-block to join ‘seven most endangered’ list

One of the buildings damaged in the 2011 bomb attack by mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik has been nominated as one of Europe’s “seven most endangered” architectural treasures.

Y-block to join 'seven most endangered' list
The Y Block in 2005 before Breivik's attack. Photo: J. P. Fagerback/Flickr
The Y-block, which was damaged in the explosion and boasts Picasso motifs sandblasted into its brutalist concrete structure,  was nominated for the 2016 list published by the conservation organisation Europa Nostra. 
It is scheduled to be demolished under a plan announced in January to redevelop the site of Breivik’s attack. 
“It is always possible to get the authorities to change their minds in such matters, especially by means of public opinion,” John Sell, the organisation’s Vice President told Aftenposten as he visited the building on Tuesday. “It is ultimately up residents of Norway to exert pressure on the authorities to preserve this building.”
The organisation, whose President is the opera tenor Placido Domingo, on Tuesday held its annual conference in Oslo. 
It will now work to lobby the Norwegian government to preserve the building over the next year. 
“Although the ‘seven most endangered’ program is no more than two years old, we have already got evidence that we have managed to influence the authorities in several countries to consider alternative solutions,” Secretary General Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailović told the newspaper. 
“What strikes me after visiting the Y-block, is how the building fits into the surroundings in such a fabulous way,” Sells told the paper. “Meanwhile, the use of materials, with sandblasted concrete, is truly unique. It is an amazing piece of architecture.” 
Breivik launched his brutal twin attacks by detonating a home-made bomb parked in a van under the government tower that houses the offices of Norway’s then Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. 
The neighbouring Y-Block was also damaged in the blast.