The Lantern Sandnes is a modern demonstration of using sustainable materials to redefine a public space. It was also creating an icon for Norway’s second fastest growing city.
The Norwegian cities of Stavanger and Sandnes were chosen to be European cultural capitals for 2008. As part of this occasion the town council led the “Norwegian Wood Project” to add an attraction to Sandnes and revitalise the old quarter of the town. As a result The Lantern Sandnes was commissioned and built.
The Lantern Sandnes Norway
The structure covers 140 square metres and is located in the shopping precinct street of Langgata. I must admit that Langgata was a very delightful shopping precinct to explore and it is maybe a little strange to find a wooden and glass canopy of this nature in the heart of it. Even still, it seems to blend in well with the surroundings.
The Lantern Pavilion project sought to provide cover and act as a meeting place for such as markets and informal musical concerts. This was in addition to something which has been described as a shelter to enjoy light and weather changes. To be fair the canopy at Sandnes is large enough to fit a fair few people underneath if it does start to rain.
I visited this timber architect structure in May 2015 so it was still daylight late into the evening. Had I hung around to maybe 11pm there is a chance I could have seen it all lit up. The design of this wooden pavilion with glass is such that at night the interior lighting will reflect off the glass. This will make the structure give off light to appear like a lantern.
The timber architecture design is of an uplifted wooden house which is in keeping with the buildings around it.
The project was planned from 2006 – 2008 when the first phase of the construction was completed. Later work took place between 2009 and 2010.
I found it interesting to read that the project was seeking to revitalise this part of the town. If you’ve ever been to Sandnes you will notice that 2 main features of the town are this old quarter area plus the beautiful harbour area. Unfortunately the main railway line runs across between the two. Yet having said that both are easily accessible by foot or car. It was only a short walk of a few minutes between the town.
In spite of this the council were worried that visitors wouldn’t be drawn to both.
As I wandered around this defining architecture of Norway I could see the level of detail that went into it’s construction. At a cost of €1.4m there were plenty of panes of glass, rivets and even speakers strategically placed.
As much as architecture can allow, this wooden pavilion seems to have been made with the environment in mind. It is made from sustainably sourced oak timbers. The columns which hold the canopy in place don’t have to be treated as the hardness of the oak can sustain pollution and weather damage.
Also a weatherproof skin of glass is overlying the structure to avoid using steel profiles or sealants.
Whilst to the untrained eye this architecture of Norway may not be so inspiring, it has been recognised worldwide. It was even nominated for the Mies Van Der Rohe Prize, Barcelona.
Are you interested in the architecture of The Lantern? If you’d like to see it for yourself and more specifically see it lit up at night there are a range of hotels in and around Sandnes.
I enjoyed my time wandering around the beautiful harbour of Sandnes and the lovely shopping precints. However the Lantern Sandnes now has is a wonderful icon for a beautiful location south of Stavanger.