ERLING VIKSJØ (Norwegian, 1910-1971)
Table, Norway, ca. 1960
concrete, stone, rosewood
55.25" W x 31.5" D x 16" H, top 1" thick
Erling Viksjø was a Norwegian architect and designer most known for his design of the main government building complex in Oslo, completed after World War II. Viksjø was an early proponent of Modernism, often using concrete in his architecture, a characteristic often repeated in his furniture design. In 1950 he patented his process for sand blasting concrete facades, a technique implemented on the government buildings in Oslo.
Viksjø was born in 1910 in Trondheim, later studying architecture at Norway’s Technical College. He moved to Oslo in 1935, where he partnered with architect Ove Bang; it was at Bang where he completed initial designs for Oslo’s governmental contract in 1939. During World War II, he led the Bang architectural office after Bang’s death in 1942, before his own eventual imprisonment at the Grini concentration camp from 1944 until the end of the war. Upon his release, he founded his own company, still finalizing plans for the governmental offices before its eventual construction in 1955 – 1958. Called the Y-block for its shape, the complex featured his patented concrete, sand-blasted façade and Picasso murals.
The variety of buildings Viksjø created, including churches, museums, hospitals, and factories, are defining for Norwegian architecture and design. He embraced the aesthetics of concrete inlaid with stone as well as his patented sand-blasted stone, which are pervasive throughout his designs.