The World Championship Skijump
More than 100 years ago, a Norwegian lieutenant propelled himself 9.5 meters into the air and the sport of ski jumping was born. Since 1892, the village of Holmenkollen, twenty minutes from Oslo, has hosted legendary competitions and the site remains one of the foremost locales for the international sport including the 1952 Winter Olympics. Along with Wimbledon and the Wembley Arena, Holmenkollen Ski Jump the world’s most visited sports facility. Nevertheless as a skijump it is one of the smallest hills in the World Cup tournament, and in September 2005, the International Ski Federation decided that the current hill does not meet the standards to award the city the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. In December 2005 Norway’s Directorate of Cultural Heritage approved the demolition of the ski jump and in April 2007 the Oslo municipality announced an open international competition for a new ski jump.
We beat out 103 other firms and were awarded the commission the following year. Working closely with city officials, we established an office in the capital to bring to fruition our project that will become a beacon for the city and a new showcase for the sport of ski jumping.
Rather than having a series of dispersed pavilions on site, our design unifies the various amenities into one holistic diagram. The judges booths, the commentators, the trainers, the Royal family, the VIPs, the wind screens, the circulations, the lobby, the entrance to the arena and the arena itself, the lounge for the skiers, the souvenir shop, the access to the existing museum, the viewing public square at the very top, everything, is contained into the shape of the jump. The resulting simplicity of the solution improves the experience of the spectators and brings clear focus to the skiers jumping. The ski jump is clad with a mesh of stainless steel and rises 58 meters in the air. Its 69m cantilever makes it the longest of its kind.
On the first day of jumping tests, the record of the longest jump made at Holmenkollen was broken. Atop the ski jump is a platform where visitors can take in some of the most breathtaking views of Oslo, the fjord and the region beyond. It’s a new form of public space, using an unlikely architectural form as its host, affording the same spectacular vantage point for everyone who comes to Holmenkollen.
The Lonely Planet declared the new Holmenkollen Ski Jump as one of the ten top world destinations to visit in 2011.