fbpx 40 670 Broadcasting NRK | Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo


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40 670 Broadcasting NRK

Full course name in English: 
Broadcasting NRK
40 670
Syklus 2
2024 Vår
2024 Vår
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Jørgen Johan Tandberg

Admission to AHO and successful completion of three years bachelor level studies (180 ECTS).

Om emnet

In 2020, the Norwegian public broadcaster, NRK, sold its properties at Marienlyst to developer Ferd for 3.8 bill NOK. This will transform one of Norway’s most important nation-building institutions into a private development project.


The original broadcasting building, Kringkastingshuset, was designed by Nils Holter (1899–1995), after a 1935 competition. It was at the time a completely new, and radical building typology in Europe. Given the novelty of broadcasting technology, Holter’s task was to plan for the unforeseen demands of the new media and its spatial requirements. Broadcasting buildings were machines whose exact purpose was yet to be fully understood, and Kringkastingshuset’s longevity can be attributed to the fact that Holter and his client had the foresight to plan the NRK site to give a flexible framework for a public institution in growth. It is a piece of modernist architecture built with an eye for constant expansion and re-organization, to meet unforeseen technical demands posed by the new medium of radio.



Over the past eighty years, the Marienlyst site has been transformed from a greenfield on the city border, and into a sprawling media facility within what soon became one of Oslo’s densest residential areas. Nils Holter's office would continue working with NRK for nearly half a century, extending and reorganizing the original building as well as adding additional buildings; all according to the rapidly changing technology for broadcasting. Marienlyst is both a master planning project, an important work of monumental public architecture and a highly complex piece of technical infrastructure. This course is about one of the most radical building typologies of the 20th century, at the moment when it has been declared obsolete.



- Increased knowledge about the building methods of 20th century Norwegian modernism

- An in-depth understanding of the broadcasting building as a typology, as a means to understand the architecture of modern media


- Archival work as a method for writing architectural history

- Modelmaking as a representational tool

- Architectural detailing as a research method

General competence:

Students attending the course will be better equipped to handle historical complexity, making it operative within a research project.



Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

The course is divided into 4 phases, each with its own submission requirements.


Phase 1.

Nils Holter (1899–1995) was arguably one of the most important Norwegian architects of the 20th century, and yet he is surprisingly overlooked within modern historiography. We will begin the semester by making a historical survey of Holter’s projects, identifying characteristic design strategies. His buildings, regularly published in the Norwegian journal of architecture Byggekunst, span from his work for Oslo Reguleringsvesen in the early 1930s, to the extension of the Norwegian parliament building (1959), and Bibelskolen in Linstows gate (1972). Our survey will provide an alternative lens for understanding Norwegian modernism in the inter- and postwar years, challenging familiar narratives. 


Outcome of phase 1: scale models, plans and sections of Nils Holter’s work. Oral/visual presentation.


Phase 2.

Through archival studies, we will make a timeline of the broadcasting building’s development. This will include lists of contractors, suppliers, and consultants, as well as major events affecting the plans. Major historical events directly affecting the building was the depression and unemployment of the late 1930s, resulting in a pressure to use natural stone on the facades in order to aid a struggling stonemason industry; the Nazi occupation of 1940 which, due to the Germans’ appreciation of the importance of broadcasting, brought the final building closer to Holter’s intentions, making it one of the few national institutions to come strengthened out of WWII; as well as a series of technological breakthroughs, including the advent of television. 


Outcome of phase 2: timelines and (beautiful) diagrams. Oral/visual presentation.


Phase 3.

Arguably, any contemporary engagement with the historical broadcasting building demands not only an understanding of architectural detailing from the past eighty years, but also an interest in media archeology; the science of understanding modern media through its historical artefacts. In phase 3, will document and discuss material use and building details in the broadcasting building, focusing on the specific rooms and areas most characteristic.


Outcome, phase 3: large scale printed axonometric detail drawings and models of building details at scale 1:1 – 1:5. Oral/visual presentation.


Phase 4:

Phases 1–3 will together result in an exhibition, Broadcasting NRK


The studio is part of the research project “Provenance Projected. Architecture Past and Future in the Era of Circularity”, run by Mari Lending and Erik Langdalen.


Link to course literature registered in Leganto

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