chapter  12
17 Pages

Hated heritage

Architecture of the Norwegian welfare state
WithSiri Skjold Lexau

In June 2011, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway was preparing a plan for the preservation of selected buildings owned by the state. Post-war public architecture in Western welfare states was built to improve the lives of the population. The significance of welfare state architecture as a tool for social change has often been underestimated, or else remained uninvestigated. The Social Democratic welfare state system found in Norway is an administrative concept where the state has assumed general responsibility for securing the inhabitants equal access to education, a minimum income, health care, a minimum housing standard and other social services. Kenneth Frampton was one of the first to point to the relationship between 'New Brutalism' and the welfare state, showing the significance of acts of parliaments as motors for the construction of new towns and an extensive school building programme.