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Updated: Nov 9, 2019

Fornebu & Fjell

Fornebu Airport was the main airport serving Oslo and eastern Norway from 1939 to 1998, when it was replaced by Oslo Airport Gardermoen. The airport was located at Fornebu in Bærum, only 8 kilometres from Oslo city center.

In 1940, Fornebu airport was taken over by the German Luftwaffe, but civilian air services began again in 1946. A large-scale expansion to the terminal was made during the 1980s. Not long after however, in 1998, due to limited terminal and runway capacity, it was deemed too small; intercontinental and charter airlines started to use Gardermoen.

Now, what I remember most vividly from the times we picked up my father from Fornebu

airport when he returned from his foreign trips, were the massive murals by Kai Fjell.

They were situated in the main hall of the terminal - and have been well preserved by the way. The largest mural was the 310-square-metre and three stories high Arrival and Departure, which was completed in 1968. They took my breath away - and still do so. In retrospect, they are the origin of my love for this kind of hallmark fifties and sixties art.

Kai Fjell 1907 - 1989

Kai Breder Fjell was a Norwegian painter, printmaker and scenographer. In the early stage of his career, he develops an ornamental form of expressionism. His paintings are heavily influenced by rural life and traditional Norwegian folk art. They are dominated by dark and earthy hues and often have grotesque motifs (titles include The Violent Man, The Self-killer, The Hearse). His later works are significantly brighter, more daring in their use of colour, and tranquil in mood. Throughout his long career, the female figure and various fertility-symbols are recurring motifs in Fjell's paintings. Fjell is active as a painter until the end of his life.

The revival of Fornebu

Since its closing in 1998, the Fornebu airport site has been renovated and redeveloped. The terminal is now a hub for architects and designers, for start-ups, housing projects, and for the offices of regional and international companies, Luckily the murals are still there for everyone to see and certainly worth the D-tour whenever you are in the Oslo area.

Fornebu airport transformed
Fornebu airport transformed

Source: Wikipedia

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