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18. March 2010

Holmenkollen – a hill of light for high-fliers

The legend lives on

Giant leaps are a Holmenkollen tradition: this famous mountain above Oslo hosted the first ski jump competition as early as 1892. The winning distance then was 21.5 metres. Today the ski jump record stands at 139.5 metres and the hill (Norwegian: kollen) named after the Norwegian medic Dr Holm is a shrine of Nordic winter sports. The years that have witnessed the development of skiing have also seen changes to the jump hill. Renovated a total of 18 times, it was finally torn down completely in 2008 and the same site saw new building work begin in 2009. This followed an international architecture competition won by the Danish firm JDS architects with their spectacular concept for a

Holmenkollen Fyr (English: lighthouse). The jump hill’s filigree silhouette, which seems to hang in the air, is now the shining centre point of Oslo’s winter sports and a symbol of Oslo which is visible for miles around. What fascinates is the stainless steel mesh covering the whole of its gigantic steel structure. Acting as a wind filter, the semi-transparent membrane gleams in a captivating interplay with the natural light. At night the mesh, backlit from the inside, turns the arena into a hill of light that seems to touch the sky.

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