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Sametinget (Sámediggi) ( Sámi Parliament Building)
Address: 9730 Karasjok
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Architect: Stein Halvorsen AS and Christian Sundby architects MNAL; Grindaker as Landscape Architects
Client: Directorate of Public Construction and Property (Statsbygg)
Construction System /
Concrete; steel; laminated wood
Building Type: Parliament; offices; library
Keywords: Sami, parliament, concrete, steel, laminated wood, larch wood,
Year of Construction: 1998-2000
The Sámi Parliament building is situated on a ridge above the Karasjok town centre, on a noticeable terrace on the hillside, 35 metres above today's alluvial plain. Surrounding the building is a landscape comprised of pinetrees and natural vegetation. Elements such as the concrete and grey colour of the larch wood panelling allow the building to blend in with the surrounding nature. The plenary meeting hall's oblique conical form, on the edge of a steep incline, is however easily visible - even from the town centre of Karasjok.

The architects Stein Halvorsen and Christian Sundby won the architecture contest that was sponsored by the Norwegian government (Statsbygg) in 1995. A parliament in general has political importance, but also has nation building and identity significance. These were some of the intentions of the contest, where the programme stated that the architect should contribute so that "The Sámi Parliament appears in a dignified way" and "reflects Sámi architecture." It was requested that architectural tradition should be the basis for this monumental building.

The Sámi Parliament building houses more functions than merely political and administrative - for instance premises for the Sámi Trade and Industry and a specific Sámi library.
Literature: Almaas, Inger Helsing: "Møtets teater," Byggekunst 8/2000, pp. 22-23.
Almaas, Inger Helsing: A Guide to Recent Architecture, London 2002, chap. 7.32.
Byggekunst 2/2001, pp. 1-15.
Byggekunst 8/2000, pp. 10-21.
Ferdigmelding no. 598/2000 Sametinget.
Miles, Henry: "Parlamentary Prescience," Achitectural Review april/2001, pp. 49-53.
Risåsen, Geir Thomas: Staten bygger, Oslo 2003, pp. 66-71.
Tamm, Eric Enno: "Summer og Sàmi," Wallpaper dec/2000, pp. 245, 256.
Prizes /
Norwegian governments architectural tradition prize 2001; Stein Halvorsen AS and Christian Sundby architects MNAL was awarded the Northern Norwegian architecture prize for the Sámi Parliament Building in 2002
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 28.12.2004
Author: E.H; I.H
Photographer: J.M.B 2003; H.H 2000

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