Rjukan industrial town was developed over a short period of time in the early 20th century, built by the most famous architects at the time. The two buildings facing the main plaza, the city hall and the post office, was drawn by architect Thorvald Astrup and a statue of the founder of Norsk Hydro, Sam Eyde, is centrally located on the plaza.


Open competition 2012


Tinn Municipality

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Rjukan, Norway


3.000 m²


Public space, Service building

In 1913 Sam Eyde launched the idea of the “Sun Mirror ” for Rjukan, a large construction which purpose was to reflect the sun from the top of the mountain down to the public spaces in the town. He did not complete this project, but now in 2012 the Tinn Municipality is buiding the mirror.

To realize the idea a heliostat is being located on the mountain north of Rjukan. The Heliostat consists of a computer controlled 100m2 circular mirror that follows the path of the sun and reflects the sun beams down on Rjukan main plaza. The open competition asked for a new design for the main plaza that facilitates the use of the sun beams as an attractive element in a flexible and including public space. 

The main idea of our proposal was to take the geometry of the projected light, an ellipse, as a point of departure for a holistic design with programs and functions all year round.

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