Proposal for 22 July memorial
A sculptural space


Art, Architecture, Landscape Architecture


Snøhetta's artist Jorunn Sannes and architect Kjetil Trædal Thorsen form one of ten teams invited to design sketch proposals for a new national memorial in Oslo, commemorating the terror attacks of 22 July 2011.

The proposal is a place to remember the tragedy but also of hope, unity, and strength. It can be associated with the struggle between good and evil, opposites that challenge us.

The memorial consists of two identical spherical forms. One is turned upside down and forms an inclined and protective vault over the entrance to the 22 July center. The other is an open bowl to the sky and a communal and embracive outdoor space for visitors, where 77 of the seats are sculpted and highlighted. The two forms are alike, yet become unlike, and are linked together through an internal and eternal movement.

Technical details

Art, Installation & Commissions, Public Space, Religious Space & Memorial
Design Proposal
Oslo, Norway

KORO, Norway's national body responsible for curating, producing, and activating art in public space





The starting point is in two equal spherical fragments. The circles are universal in their form.

One fragment is turned upside down to form a bowl and a vault.

The memorial will be established in connection with the new government quarter in central Oslo. KORO, Norway's national body responsible for curating, producing, and activating art in public space, has been commissioned to lead the first phase of the work.

After an open pre-qualification with 220 applicants, ten groups of artists and architects were invited to design sketch proposals for the memorial site. 

The jury will assess the proposals during the summer, and in September, three teams will be invited to further develop and detail their projects before a winning proposal is announced in March 2025.

Our interpretation of the memorial site is a place where you can remember the tragedy, hope, unity and strength.

At the same time, we belive it must provide the opportunity for future generations to retrieve their memories—memories we don't yet know about. Our site therefore aims to be both specific in relation to the 22 July terror attacks and universal in relation to the battle between good and evil.

Contradictions are inherently universal and eternally present in everyone's life. We marvel at how similar opposites can often seem before showing their true selves. We have tried to create a place that makes associations with several of life's contradictory relationships:

Over - under
Heaven - hell
Day - night
Ying - yang
Positive - negative
Light - darkness
Open - closed
Inside - outside
Life - dead
Past - future
Joy - sadness

Our proposal therefore consists of two identical spherical forms. One is turned upside down and forms a light and protective slanted vault over the entrance to the 22 July centre. The other remains an embracing bowl that opens to the sky. The bowl and the vault are opposites. The bowl collects and holds its contents while the vault empties imaginary contents onto the ground. The bowl is an embracive outdoor space you can enter, alone or with others. The vault is a protective roof you can walk under.

Both are forever linked through an inverted and eternal movement, where the upper edge of the bowl is twisted to become the lower end of the vault.

The two parts are reflected in a thin layer of water and touch the water at one point each. The bowl rests at its lowest point, while the vault stands at one point along the edge.

The inside of the bowl and the vault are designed as sculpted wooden surfaces. Inside the bowl, 77 small seats are molded into the wood, commemorating the victims of the terror attacks on the 22nd of July, 2011.

The project will be further developed if it is invited to be part of the next phase of the competition.