Sverre Fehn, Norwegian Architect

(1924 - 2009)

Black and white informal portrait of white-haired Sverre Fehn from
Sverre Fehn, Pritzker Architecture Prize, 1997 Laureate. Photo © and courtesy the Hyatt Foundation at

Born: August 14, 1924 in Kongsberg, Buskerud, Norway

Died: February 23, 2009

Education: 1949: Architectural School of Oslo

Important Projects:


  • 1958: Norwegian Pavilion at the Brussels World Exhibition
  • 1962: Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
  • 1963: Schreiner House in Oslo, Norway
  • 1967–1979: Hedmark Museum in Hamar, Norway
  • 1990: Busk House at Bamble, Norway
  • 1991: Glacier Museum in Fjaerland, Norway
  • 1991: Aukrust Museum

    Major Awards:

    • 1993: Académie Française d'Architecture Gold Medal
    • 1997: Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal and Pritzker Architecture Prize

    Teaching :

    Sverre Fehn taught at the School of Architecture in Oslo from 1971 to 1995. He also lectured at the Architectural Association School in London, University of Yale, Cooper Union of New York, and many other colleges and universities.


    Sverre Fehn was powerfully influenced by the primitive architecture he saw during travels in Maroc in 1952 and 1953. Fehn also worked in Paris in the studio of Jean Prouvé. While there, he felt the influence of Bauhaus architect Le Corbusier.

    About Sverre Fehn:

    Norwegian Architect Sverre Fehn was a Modernist, yet he was inspired by primitive shapes and Scandinavian tradition. Fehn's works were widely praised for integrating innovative new designs with the natural world.

    Sverre Fehn on the Web:

    The Paradox of Sverre Fehn, essay by Ada Louise Huxtable

    In the Words of Sverre Fehn:

    • "I have never thought of myself as modern, but I did absorb the anti-monumental and the pictorial world of Le Corbusier, as well as the functionalism of the small villages of North Africa. You might say I came of age in the shadow of modernism."


    • "I always thought I was running away from traditional Norwegian architecture, but I soon realized that I was operating within its context. How I interpret the site of a project, the light, and the building materials have a strong relationship to my origins."


    • "When I build on a site in nature that is totally unspoiled, it is a fight, an attack by our culture on nature. In this confrontation, I strive to make a building that will make people more aware of the beauty of the setting, and when looking at the building in the setting, a hope for a new consciousness to see the beauty there, as well."
    ~Pritzker Prize Interviews