Interview with Tommie Wilhelmsen

Originally published at Nordic Design Blog. Please leave any comments there.

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We have written about breathtaking architecture of Aurland Look Out in Norway in our blog, it was created by two Norwegian architects, Todd Saunders & Tommie Wilhelmsen.

Tommie Wilhelmsen is talented and famous architect, he was born in 1973 in Stavanger. He graduated from the Bergen School of Architecture in 2000. In 2001 he set up his professional studio in Stavanger, on the west coast of Norway. His work focuses mainly on the residential typology. In spring 2006 Wilhelmsen will be one of 6 invited offices in an exhibition of young Norwegian architects in Ferrarra, Italy.

This time Tommie Wilhelmsen is our guest, and he was so friendly to answer to few our questions:

NDB: Hi Tommie, many readers of NDB have seen pictures of Aurland Look Out, and this creation is very popular among many lovers of Scandinavian design and architecture, can you describe the creative process, how this beautiful idea was developed, and how the collaboration with Todd Saunders influenced to final result?

TW: Todd and I were working on our self built cabin in Hardanger at the time of the competition. We just made the foundation, a 30m long “cat walk” in-between the threes. Seeing such a simple, but long line built in nature was very inspiring. The lookout in Aurland has very much of the same idea, but there we had the possibility to go out, into the air. I felt sure already from the first sketches that we would win this competition.

NDB: Where do you get your inspiration from?

TW: Drawing architecture is for me very much like daydreaming. You can imagine anything.

NDB: Tell us about your favorite work you have done?

TW: Favorite work, is always what is under construction. These days a private family house in Stavanger is being finished, called Villa Vivendelstien. Very pure and white. Maybe the simplest and well organized house I done so far. I think itâ™s nice to develop from project to project, and not just remake “old hits”

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NDB: This is a popular question that we ask our favorites. What the top three songs are currently on your playlist?

TW: Well my Mac keeps record of most played song on in my office, so this is actually correct. The list is as followed: 1) Cowgirl in the sand / Neil Young 2) Tower of song / Leonard Cohen 3) Coney Island Baby / Lou Reed. Definitely time to by some music form this century for me…

NDB: Can you point to three Scandinavian Architects/Designers which creations you love?

TW: Listing up great Scandinavian designers and architects would be a much greater list then three names. But among young architects working and building now I believe the young Norwegian team Brendeland & Kristoffersen did great on Svartlamoen student housing project. Looking forward to their next project. I like the finish office K2S architects, the brand new canopy for the Helsinki Olympic stadium is great. I follow with great interest Danish architect Dorthe Mandrup. My favorite building from her office is the Kvartehus in Jamtlandsgade in Copenhagen.

NDB: Finally Tommie, any words of wisdom for our Nordic Design Blog readers?

TW: I am too young for wisdom, hope it stays that way for a while…

NDB: Thank you, Tommie, and we wish you inspiration in your creative work!

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