Hall won a related architectural competition back in 1994, but plans to build the museum have faced all sorts of obstacles since then. But now, finally, the Norwegian authorities have decided to implement this project, timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the birth of the writer, which will be celebrated in August 2009. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2008.
Over the years of procrastination, Hall's groundbreaking project won the 1996 Progressive Architecture Award, and the Center's layout was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA).
The site for the construction of the Knut Hamsun Center was selected near the city of Hamara, more than 100 km north of the Arctic Circle. There was the farm of Hamsun's parents, where the writer's adolescence passed.
The motto of the project will be “Building as a body: a battlefield of invisible forces”. The building is conceived as a kind of archetype, the condensed essence of spirit in space and light, a reflection of Hamsun's character by architectural means. At the same time, Hall tried to avoid one-sidedness: in the biography of the famous Norwegian writer there was both the Nobel Prize in Literature (1920), and cooperation with the Nazis during the Second World War. Knut Hamsun (1859 - 1952) is considered a classic of 20th century literature, who brought many innovative techniques to it, later picked up by his colleagues. Among his most famous works are The Hunger (1890), The Mysteries (1892), Pan (1894), The Juices of the Earth (1917).
The complex will consist of exhibition halls, a library, a reading room, a cafe and an auditorium. The tall grass garden on the roof of the building should be reminiscent of the turf-covered houses of Norwegian peasants, and the black, tarred wooden walls are reminiscent of the large wooden churches in Norway.
The facades of the Center will revive "hidden impulses" - balconies painted in light colors, bearing symbolic names: "balcony of an empty violin case" or "balcony of a girl with rolled up sleeves." The white-painted concrete walls of the interior will enliven the obliquely falling rays of the sun, and over the course of a light year, they will move around the building, changing the appearance of the halls.