Over the last few decades, Norway has really upped its architectural game.

Ryan Hodnett, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Scandinavian country is home to a wealth of impressive structures and buildings. Here are five of the very best.

Image by Alexandra von Gutthenbach-Lindau from Pixabay

Oslo Opera House

When the stunning white marble Oslo Opera House opened in 2008, it was an instant success. It went on to win numerous prestigious international awards. The impressive building was designed by the Norwegian company Snøhetta. The interior of Oslo Opera House is just as impressive. In the foyer, the roof is supported by four freestanding volumes with perforated illuminated cladding, designed by the artist Olafur Eliasson. The design of the volumes is inspired by ice crystals and glaciers. As for the auditorium, it’s a horseshoe shape and features dark stained oak.

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Telenor Headquarters

Workplaces have changed a lot in recent years, and the Telenor headquarters are a great example of just how far things have come. Not only does the 34-acre site use extensive glass walls to provide employees with beautiful views of the Oslo Fjord and mountains. The building also has two curved boulevards with slanting walls that are connected to public atriums.

Bjoertvedt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A large common space can be found in between the boulevards, which acts as the building’s spine. Furthermore, the Telenor headquarters feature shading devices. They are automatically controlled via sensors to regulate the heat created by the vast amount of glass facades. There are also blinds on the windows that react to the sun’s position. Inside the building, which opened in 2002, there are no assigned desks. Instead, employees can use any of the floating worktops by simply plugging in their laptops or mobiles into data and power points. They can even easily play online games like jammin jars when they’re on their breaks. Telenor is one of the largest mobile satellite services in the world, so it makes sense that its headquarters are so high-tech.

Norwegian Wild Reindeer Pavilion

Lars Rogstad, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watching reindeer in the wild is incredible enough, but the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Pavilion makes the experience even more special. Built in 2011 by Snøhetta, the Norwegian reindeer pavilion features a remarkable curvy pine core with a full glass façade. It has ample seating and is the perfect observation platform to spot wild reindeer on the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park.

Olympic Art Museum

The beautiful art museum in Lillehammer was designed by the Norwegian architect Erling Viksjø and built in 1963. In the run-up to the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway, Lillehammer decided to extend its art museum. The extension was built by Snøhetta. It opened in 1992.

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During the Winter Olympics, the building served as the primary venue for cultural activities. The extension really is an architectural marvel. It stunningly makes use of wood and glass in an original and aesthetically pleasing way. Meanwhile, its rolling larch wood façade makes the building feel very warm and inviting. Today, the space is used for permanent modern and contemporary art exhibitions and temporary exhibitions.

Nobel Peace Center

Sean Hayford O’Leary, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One hundred years after the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway opened the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo in 2005, which was inaugurated in an old train station that dates from 1872. The highly original interior was designed by British architect David Adjaye, with contributions from artist Chris Ofili and designer David Small. Visitors approach the Peace Center through an aluminum canopy. It has a curved floor and the ceiling is perforated with small holes, representing a map of the planet. Once inside, visitors are welcomed by a wealth of warm colors and lighting effects, as well as plenty of tactile features. You simply have to visit the Nobel Peace Center in-person to discover just how impressive it is.