Oslo’s much anticipated opera house – designed by Norway’s Snøhetta architects – has finally opened, marking the first such building of its type in the nation.

Eight years in the making, the building will be used for ballet and opera as well as providing a new public outdoor space, with the roofline meeting a fjord, creating a kind of artificial beach.

“It forms an extension of the landscape surrounding the city and is not clearly distinguishable as either building or ground,” Snøhetta says.

Snøhetta is well known for its ancient library of Alexandria in Egypt and the Lillehammer Winter Olympics Art Gallery as well as the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin.

The white marble opera house – for which the contract was won back in 2000 – is drawing attention with its use of solar panelling and glass and its wood-crafted walls, made by local boat builders.

By staff writer