Norwegian National Opera

Architype Dialogue presents

Craig Dykers, AIA, LEED AP

What was the single hardest issue to predict about working within this building type and/or the most unexpected challenge that influenced new thought in the building?

The overall experience of a performance in a theater is difficult to gauge accurately because there a multiple of interacting forces that are mostly invisible, such as acoustics and sight lines. Furthermore there are a number of moving features like stage lifts, curtains and seating towers that make the building functionally mobile. Until an actual performance it is never 100% certain that all the assumptions made were correct.
Did this project or building type require an expansion and evolution of your role as an architect in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the architect is having to expand, change, or evolve on projects?

Since the building includes two user clients that are somewhat opposed in their needs, the opera and ballet companies, then a great deal of effort is spent analyzing which group should benefit or not from the design.
How is this particular building possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new solutions?

The overall experience of a performance in a theater is difficult to gauge accurately because there a multiple of interacting forces that are mostly invisible, such as acoustics and sight lines. Furthermore there are a number of moving features like stage lifts, curtains and seating towers that make the building functionally mobile. Until an actual performance it is never 100% certain that all the assumptions made were correct.
In the context of this project, how is your office and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?

We spend a good deal of time retraining our staff to think differently than the way they were trained. We focus more on interaction and discussion and allow for intuitive discussion as well as more quantifiable or derivative directions. There seems to be an increasing lack of focus on the human experience and enrichment of the built environment coming from many schools now. 3D modeling, visualization, and parametric tools are revolutionary and useful tools, but they cannot be the primary tool forming architecture.


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