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The Norwegian Classroom

The warmth and intimacy of a Norwegian cottage is successfully captured in the design of this classroom. It is divided into two parts: a large spruce-paneled student area with sloped ceilings, fireplace, and bay, and a smaller alcove that houses the professor's table, chair and chalkboard.

The trapezoidal corner fireplace of kleber stone with its birch logs, opposite the stately grandfather clock, suggests the north's long winter nights.  The sloped ceiling reminds one that the steep roofs are necessary as protection against teh accumulation of heavy snow.  The ridge beam of the ceiling is decorated with carved stars and rosettes forming midnight sun motifs.  Two tiered lighting fixtures with tulip cutouts are suspended from ornamental stems.  The original of the hand woven tapestry is in Norway's Lillehammer Folk Museum.  It depicts the biblical parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins.  Nearby are brightly painted wall cabinets.

The front alcove has a low-beamed ceiling. Doors that in a home would open to reveal a bed, here conceal the blackboard. This area is painted with elaborate rosemaling designs. The professor's oak chair back is carvedwith an ancient Viking design of intertwining dragons, while its extended leg posts terminate in birds heads and the armrests, in fierce beast heads--all designed to ward off evil. Muted colors highlight carvings on the professor's chair and trestle table, as well as the carved slat and bentwood-backed students chairs.


Ceiling detail.

Handwoven tapestry.

Professor's chair.


ARCHITECT: Georg Eliassen, Oslo

STYLE: Folk Motif

PRESENTED: May 15, 1948


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Created by Laura Steinig

Edited and modified 4/98 by Marie Mazzocco

Sound clips edited by John Rehbun and Carl Kuzmich from the Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education (CIDDE) at the University of Pittsburgh