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NORDLAND - TROMS - FINNMARK - SVALBARD

 Vensmoen sanatorium

 
Vensmoen Sanatorium ( Central Institution of Vensmoen)
Address: Røkland
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Architect: Hagbarth Martin Schytte-Berg
Client: Norwegian Government (Staten)
Construction System /
Materials:
Woodwork; concrete
Building Type: Hospital
Keywords: hospital, sanatorium, concrete, tower, hipped roof, lantern, classicism, art nouveau, neo-baroque,
Year of Construction: 1913-1916
That which remains of the Vensmoen Tuberculosis Sanatorium is situated on a wide, pine-wooded moor above the floor of the valley. This magnificent complex is hidden from view; one has to search to find it. It comes into view between the pine tree trunks like the Soria Moria Castle when one approaches the building from the old gate - ultimately representing the division between the sick and the healthy, between the villagers and what the large stately institution represented, also when regarding architecture.

The complex was designed by the architect Schytte-Berg in Trondheim, after plans and sketches done by the head physician Albert Tillisch in Oslo. It was also in accordance with that which was standard ideology and practice regarding European treatment of this disease, during the first half of the 20th century. The complex was an amalgamation of structural blocks or wings. Each section had its own function, size/height, and its own roof. This elongated building complex was situated in an east-west direction, with the main façade, patient rooms and sun-trap halls in the south. The complex is symmetric, centred on the main building in the middle, which is tallest and is crowned with a roof projection/tower. Behind this main building, which houses the administration, lays the wing with the kitchen and service functions. From the main building towards the east and the west, extends the section for the patients, one for each gender. Closest to the main building there was previously a one-storied sun-trap hall that was open towards the south and the sun. Subsequently there is a two-storied, long, sick pavilion with patient rooms. At the outermost points, one each side of the complex, there is a long, one-storied, partially open sun-trap hall. Before the long sun-trap halls, which are located are on the ends were demolished in the 1960s, the complex measured 260 metres in length - a considerably large complex where the largest section was built of wood, with touches of concrete/brick.

Vensmoen was built as a tuberculosis sanatorium for the entire region of Northern Norway, and was in operation from 1916 until 1966, when it was shut down after 50 years of service. Beginning in 1966 the complex was used as a central institution for individuals with disabilities, but in 1991 this era drew to a close.
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 03.02.2006
Author: I.H
Photographer: I.H 2005



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