Architecture for dummies

What you call funkis might as well be postmodernism.

Architecture for dummies

Modern homes are often described as funky houses, but it is incorrect. Funkis style, or functionalism, was a style that started in Norway in the late 1920s and continued in the 30’s. Nowadays buildings similar to the funky house, generally do not belong in a clear style, but attract inspiration from several eras.

Style of the day

According to Bård Helland at the Architecture and Design College in Oslo (AHO), there is a form of poetic modernism in today’s architecture, where the sensitive has taken place.

Another feature of today’s architecture is that ecology begins to get a place, including the construction of so-called low-energy houses and passive houses.


We begin the journey in the architecture of the late 1700s, although the term architecture has connections even further back in time.

In the tomb of the 1700s and until the mid-1800s, neoclassisism was the reason why the council. The style was also called empire.

New classism was a reaction to the rococo style and gained its inspiration from antiquity, including using columns.

Monumental buildings such as the Palace, the University of Oslo and Oslo Børs are clear examples of the neoclassical style.

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Architecture for dummies

NYCLASSISISM: Oslo Børs, designed by Christian H. Grosch Photo: Roland Schgaguler / Scanpix.


Style changes often occur as an answer to an existing style. With history, one sought back the ideas and expressions of earlier times.

The style was not clear and took different forms, including classical and medieval moves.

One of the perhaps most obvious exponents of this style was Ole Bull’s home, Villa Lysø, built in 1872.

Also read: English, eco-friendly architecture

Nygotic Church Architecture

Architecture for dummies

HISTORY: Ole Bull’s home on Lysøen outside Bergen, designed by architect Conrad Fredrik von der Lippe Photo: Sean Hayford O’Leary

The nygotics may be on the sidelines in this context because it primarily formed churches. And it was neither a separate style, but was considered as part of history.

Architecture for dummies

NYGOTIKK: Photo: Wikipedia

The idea behind this direction was that the architecture should tell about the use of the building, and in particular it was considered suitable for church buildings because the direction could be understood in a Christian context.

One of the famous buildings is Johanneskirken in Bergen.

Swiss style

In the middle of the 19th century there was an interest in the farmers’ art of construction. This curiosity eventually led to the emergence of the so-called Swiss style, which became its name because it retrieved some of its basic features from Swiss folklore architecture.

The Swiss style is characterized by large, overhanging brickwork and rich decoration of the gables. Glass verandas were also a hallmark of this style.

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Drag Style

The opposition to the union with Sweden was expressed in several ways, including in the architecture. The quest for real Norway was a way to flag this opposition, so in the extension of the Swiss style, the dragon style grew.

Architecture for dummies

SVEITSERSTIL: This villa from 1873 in Bergen was designed by architect Peter Andreas Blix. Photo: Nina Aldin Thune

The dragon style was the most important of the wood architecture, and also marked the end point of the backward time in architecture. The next quarrel, modernism, sought to interpret its present day to a much greater extent.

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In the 19th and 1900s, different modernist styles emerged. In Norway, it came from, among other things, the Art Nouveau style, which is first and foremost to be seen in Ålesund.

Art nouveau characteristics were ellipse shapes, soft lines, arches and untraditional shapes on the windows.

Architecture for dummies

DRAGESTIL: Villa from Balestrand in Sogn. Photo: Nina Aldin Thune

There were also motifs from nature, like animal shapes and flowers.

Architecture for dummies

JUGENDSTIL: Svaneapoteket in Ålesund, designed by architect Hagbarth Martin Schytte-Berg Photo: Wikipedia

Art Nouveau is also referred to as Art Noveau.

Art Deco

This was a style that was linked to top class and luxury. It was almost absent in Norway.

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Functionalism, also called the style of fun, was the next style of modernism. Its main focus was that architecture should reflect the housing function. Aftermath for earlier styles was forbidden, and the architects wanted to get rid of all the unnecessary decorative elements.

Functionalism is used mainly in Scandinavia, and the abbreviation “funkis” comes from Sweden.

The function room had flat ceilings, large windows and bright and open space solutions.

Leading functionists in Norway were Lars Backer, Ove Bang and Arne Korsmo. These were responsible for buildings such as Skansen restaurant in Oslo (torn), Samfunnshuset in Oslo and Villa Stenersen.

Funkis style was dominant in Norway until World War II.

Also read: Cube-shaped cabin of 20 square


After modernism’s strict architecture, in particular with the right-handed and rigorous form of functionalism, the anarchy took to a certain extent the architecture after the war. Again, it was allowed to be inspired by earlier styles.

Postmodernism grew out of the 1960s and continued until the end of the millennium. The style is characterized by elements from the early days of construction.

Postmodernism came as a reaction to what it felt was the factory-like appearance in the fun style.

Today there is no particular architectural style available, and it is seen that more architects are less concerned with style and more focused on the possibilities of architecture.

Architecture for dummies

FUNCTIONAL RANGE: One of the perhaps most famous feature houses in Norway, Villa Steneresen in Oslo. Photo: Hans A. Rosbach / Wikipedia

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Architecture for dummies

POSTMODERNISME: Photo: Jiri Havran / Arkifoto


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