Diploma 2013: ““I was there” by Hanne Kristine Kroken Finseth

Architectural speculations on a farmhouse in Sognefjorden

Student: Hanne Kristine Kroken Finseth
Epost: hannefinseth@gmail.com
Tutors: APP/DAV Professor Thomas Wiesner


“I never saw this strange dwelling again. Indeed, as I see it now, the way it appeared to my child’s eye, it is not a building, but it is quite dissolved and distributed inside me: here one room, there another, and here a bit of corridor which, however, does not connect to the two rooms, but is conserved in me in fragmentary from. Thus the whole thing is scattered about inside me, the rooms, the stairs that descended with such ceremonious slowness, others narrow cages that mounted in a spiral movement, in the darkness of which we advanced like the blood in our veins.”

                                           Rainer Maria Rilke - Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge


The site of the project is a small farm at the innermost part of Sognefjorden, in the western part of Norway. The projects deals with the themes of memory, place and architecture, aiming to look beyond a place in a general way with it’s generic properties. The ‘place’ in this sense becomes the view of the people who have encountered it. Remembering something that has past, survives by virtue of those who were there, and the stories told. When valuing a territory the relevance of subjective sensations seem worthwhile to map. When comparing a subjective topography to the more general, process-based statistic methodology of mapping an area, one would think that both dimensions are equally important to investigate. All maps and records of the world, no matter how objective they appear, represent a perspective and could be used to promote any viewpoint and value. They are ultimately tools for subjective interpretations. A text-based archive has been made, a collection of spatial memories from people who have been to this place, and serves as a backbone for the project. “I was there” has been a continuous exploration of memory and place, describing the site and context through drawing, modelling and texts to articulate these spatial moments. This has at the same time been the making of the final ’project’. This diploma is therefore to be seen in the lines of a research project, as a spatial concretization of a subjective topography centered around the farm in Sognefjorden.

All photos by Hanne Kristine Kroken Finseth