Erlend Haffner: Fantastic Norway

Erlend Blakstad Haffner cofounded Fantastic Norway AS, an architectural studio, in 2004 with Håkon Matre Aasarød. Initially, the pair traveled around in Norway in a red caravan, stopping in towns where change was needed. Their ambition was to re-establish the architect as an active participant and a constructor of society.

Their headquarters is located in Oslo, and the studio is currently engaged with architecture and installations. Clients span from local communities to private investors to public institutions. They primarily work in the field of culture, tourism, and commercial building. In addition to traditional commissions they initiate projects themselves and organize the financial and political backing of them.

Fantastic Norway believes places are stitched together by the stories and lives of people living there. Every client is different; every place is in some way peculiar. They aim to embrace this notion and through dialogue transform it into architecture. In addition to their practice, Fantastic Norway runs a master class at Bergen School of Architecture and works closely with the Norwegian Broadcasting Company, in developing a TV program on architecture, named “Fantastic Norway”.

Fantastic Norway was proclaimed Architects of the Year at the Oscar Hansen Symposium in Bergen, Norway, in 2005 and received the FAD Medal of Honor” for “best international practice” in Barcelona, Spain, in 2007. The office exhibited at the international pavilion in Venice at the 2008 architectural biennale.