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Sysselmannsgården ( Governors Estate)
Architect: Odmund Eindride Slaatto
Client: The Norwegian Government
Construction System /
Woodwork; cogging joint method; timber frame; concrete
Building Type: Residential; office
Keywords: official residence, office, L-shape, rectangular courtyard, gable roof, tower, woodwork, concrete
Year of Construction: 1949-1950
The governor's estate was completed in 1950 and was designed by Odmund Eindride Slaatto (1896-1963). This building is the governor's official residence and also served as his office. The building is located approximately 400 metres above the sea and has a view overlooking the Advent Fjord towards the northeast, the Is Fjord towards the west and the Longyear Valley towards the east. Located nearby is governor's administration building, built in 1998 - together they comprise the governor's headquarters.

The building complex is L-shaped in form and constitutes the northern and eastern sides of a square courtyard, which is composed of four components. The main building is located towards the east; it is a red two-story rectangular building, with a saddle roof. It is connected to a tower, which rises above the fjord in the courtyard's northernmost corner. The tower is three-storied, white plastered and at its pinnacle is a low pyramidal roof. Further towards the west, lies the portico and the sitting-room with an open fireplace. Both are one-storied with saddle roofs and are stained brown. The formation of the complex has an additive character, the design is characterised by a tension between horizontal and vertical elements.
Literature: Bøkestad, Hilde: "Arkitektur i Arktis" Byggekunst 7/1996, pp. 48-53
Løkken, Gisle: "Fra tundra til småby - utviklingen av Longyearbyens bebyggelse" i Store Norske 75 år Thor B. Arlov (ed.), Longyearbyen 1991, pp. 111-125
Skogvang, Hege: Sysselmannsanleggene i Longyearbyen på Svalbard - om arkitektur som suverenitetsmarkør, Tromsø 2004
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 26.01.2006
Author: H.S.
Photographer: H.S. 1999

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