Oslo Opera House

Oslo, Norway

This 400,000 square foot home for the Den Norske Opera & Ballett was designed to accommodate a staff of over 600. We programmed the facility to help that small army work efficiently and navigate through a labyrinth of support and production areas including carpentry, metal, and plastics shops, rehearsal rooms, and a studio theatre. We wrote the project brief, working with the Norwegian Opera three years before the lead architect was selected by competition. We later joined the winning team. In the 1,400-seat opera house, our theatre design created an exceptional balance between staging flexibility and intimacy. The audience is lifted vertically on three balconies and encircles the stage, creating a audience/performer dynamic without physical or emotional distance. With two side stages, two rear stages, and an understage (all of which lift, fall, and adjust on 200 electric and hydraulic drives), seemingly impossible scenery changes are made easy. Mobile towers allow the proscenium to expand and contract while adjustable acoustic elements, modern AV and lighting systems, and seatback translation technology offer flexibility and audience accommodation. With 1,100 rooms, the facility is the largest cultural facility built in Norway since the year 1300.

Oslo Opera House
Credit: Erik Berg/Den Norske Opera & Ballett
Credit: mondo*dr
Credit: Jaro Hollan/Statsbygg





Brekker & Strand | Arup


Den Norske Opera and Ballet, touring productions

Seat count

400, 1400

Construction type

New construction

Theatre type

Flexible theatre, Opera house


Strategic planning, concept design, theatre planning, and theatre equipment design and specification



Venue website


Credit: Jaro Hollan/Statsbygg
Credit: Nina Reistad
Oslo Opera House
Credit: Nina Reistad

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