naturalspace magazine : Sustainable architecture and the natural world: Natural Space Ltd  

Oslo Life

Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943)

The Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo celebrates all the stages of the human emotion and portrays the periods in our lives from birth to death. Built over a 35 year period from 1907 - 1942, the park entirely designed by Gustav Vigeland, is perhaps one of the worlds great monuments to the spirit of humanity. There are 212 sculptures in bronze and granite that study our feelings as we celebrate, showing fear, grace, anger, hatred, love, understanding, compassion, joy, surprise, desolation and ecstacy. The works perhaps demand clarification - or maybe they don't. They are deeply moody, partly because there lingers a doubt about this chain of life and where it ends. Is this what we feel in the monolith, which deeply puzzles onlookers who only stand and stare in awe?

The Monolith, carved from a single piece of granite stands 17.3 metres high. In the Autumn of 1926, the giant block was floated up the Oslofjord to begin it's transformation. It took 14 stone carvers 3 years to follow the castings made by Vigeland and release the power of this stone. Much has been written about what it all means, it defies explanation though and like life itself, needs no explanation.



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