Architecture policy in Norway

In August 2009, the Norwegian government launched Norway’s first unified architectural policy: “”. The Norwegian foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway has been assigned a key role in its implementation.

The intention of an architectural policy is to promote the quality of the planning and construction of buildings. The concept of “quality” cannot be defined as one particular attitude to architecture and its surroundings, but rather as a mindset and an approach; in the words of the British architect Norman Foster: ”Quality is never about money, rather, it is an attitude of mind.”


13 ministries involved in architectural policy
In August 2009, the government, represented by 13 ministries, presented the policy-planning document “arkitektur.ow”. This document will be followed up by The Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the other 12 ministries that have participated in the work involved.

The architectural policy sets out a wide definition of the concept of architecture. In the broad sense of the word, “architecture” embraces all manmade environments. This broad definition means that a significant part of state sector authorities will be key players in the work to promote good architecture.

Main challenges
The policy document describes 3 main challenges facing the field of architecture:

  •     The challenge posed by sustainability and climate change
  •     The challenge posed by changes and transformations
  •     The challenge posed by knowledge and innovation

The Norwegian Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway acts as special advisor to the Ministry of Culture in the field of architecture and design.