Regeneration of Grønmo Landfill – Norwegian Rhapsody

July 2011, Oslo, Norway  –  HONORABLE MENTION

I died on January 2nd, 2015. By that time I had read about GrønmoPark. I thought it was the most beautiful idea to deal with death and I fell in love with the thought of becoming part of the landscape. I spoke with my family and my beloved about it and they all seemed to recognize the beauty and the abstraction of it. We then visited Grønmo on a trip to Norway and we walked together on the grounds I would one day belong to.
While we were there we once heard the sounds of the pipes. It was mysterious. Somehow we knew that sound but it was different in Grønmo. It reminds one of a flute but more intense, as the sound of boats leaving harbour. It was accompanied by a quick and vibrant echo of little “dings”, like a choir of metal triangles. I wondered for a second what my sound would be.
Grønmo was extraordinary. My first view of it was from the plane. It was a clearing in the forest. Like a secret room, visible only from the air, from the sky. It looked so aggressively carved out in the Marka…but so soft and magical inside. I was captivated by that contrast. The resulting landscape was so expressive…
It was the result of forty years of human intervention. A completely artificial landscape built with the debris produced over decades. Like a piece of land art that took 40 years to be completed.
The designers of the plan decided to leave this surrealist topography intact, to preserve it as a monument to the way society dealt with its waste in the 20th century. As if designed by Brunier its relation with nature was invariably aggressive, as if he wanted to rape nature, strip her of her natural character, and turn her into an expressionist object[1]. I recognized Munch on it too; the broad bands of garish colour, the way he painted the sky and the Oslofjord in The Scream… We were lucky to arrive in May. The fields were all in bloom, so colourful. I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature[2]. It was like observing a piece of the painting, but fifty times larger.
That day we stayed in Grønmo for 4 hours. It was so calm; we did not need to talk. Each of us was experiencing Grønmo differently, I guess. We walked separately for an hour. I was lying for two hours on a small mound looking at the surrealist landscape of young hills, as if waiting to grow into mountains. One day my ashes would be part of one of these.  I found this the most beautiful option.
Grace preferred the wall. She liked the sense of timelessness of it, the absence of scale. She loved De Chirico paintings and the wall reminded her of his scuola metafisica. His dream-like paintings, as well as the apparently casual juxtapositions of objects, represented a visionary world which engaged most immediately with the unconscious mind, beyond physical reality[3]. Gunnar, instead, would have chosen the most abstract of all the options. He would scatter the ashes all over letting the wind decide. He thought it was the most poetic form of being all over the place…on every single bit of grass, of soil. So whenever he returned to Grønmo he would sit on a chair and feel me there, everywhere, but not in a specific place. I like that too… but I felt an illogical fear of disappearing…
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Grace and Gunnar come to Grønmo twice a year. They like to spend time here. They do not find this peace anywhere else. It is their ritual of tranquillity; it helps them to find harmony. When Grace comes in autumn she likes to approach Grønmo by the ski trail. She enters the little sauna after visiting Grønmo and relaxes while looking through the window. Gunnar buys a couple of white tulip bulbs and plants them in my hill for the next spring. He walks for about an hour along the route of meditation crossing the different landscapes. It really transports you for a moment to a different and scarily comfortable dimension. If he comes across another visitor they look at each other and smile. In spring he sits on the chair and reads for the entire afternoon. When it gets dark he stays in the cabin from where he looks at the stars until sleep takes over. Next morning, he likes to visit the surrounding area and the Marka and try some new food. He has met a couple in Mortensrud, who always offer him a room to stay, but Gunnar prefers to sleep in the small cabin at Grønmo – and they smile and understand.

1  Rem Koolhaas about Yves Brunier
2  Munch on his diary, 22.01.1892, about the inspiration for the Scream – Skrik
3  About Giorgio de Chirico, Wikipedia

>> Full information about the project coming up soon

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Title: Norwegian Rhapsody
Project name: Regeneration of Grønmo
Date: July 2011 – Results December 2011
Type: Open International Competition Europan11 
Organizer: EuropanNorway
Participants: 33 – registrations: 62
Location: Oslo, Norway
Site: Grønmo
Surface: 45 Ha
Programme: Regeneration of a landfill into public spaces. Added programme: Sustainable Cemetery Park
Status: Competition
Client: Oslo Municipality
Budget: N/A
-Europan 11 in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, March 2012
Europan 11 Norway Book of Results, Europan Norway, Oslo, Norway, Dec 2011
Exhibitions: Mortensrud Kirke, Oslo, Norway – 33 Ideas for a Better Future – Grønmo, October 15-16, 2011
STAR Team: Beatriz Ramo, Francesca Rizzetto, Alexia Martha Symvoulidou
Collaborators: –
Consulting: –
Extra: –