FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD- Intermediate 9 Unit Trip Review
by Jake Parkin, AA 3rd year, Intermediate Unit 9
18 November 2016
Oslo and Lyngør, Norway
London: Lars Williams (Noma’s Head of R&D) in Pascal’s Kitchen
“Finding ideas about food from other parts of the world, and then [trying] to fly those ideas to our part of the world.” - Lars
One Friday afternoon Pascal’s Kitchen was opened up to our unit for a high-speed medley of experimenting, discussing, and tasting. We were shown methods of working based around inventing and foraging, which paralleled deliciously with our unit’s interest in making, testing, and transforming, and aligned well with the work we had done in the studio in our first few weeks of the term.
[caption id="attachment_6394" align="alignnone" width="360"] Lars at the AA, Photo by Chris P[/caption]
Rock hard tunafish, fermented black garlic, expanding truffle foam, and berry-covered chocolate crackling were just some of the culinary demonstrations performed that afternoon; my favourite was the procession of mushrooms that had encountered multiple frankenstein-esque transformations, attracting hungry spectators from beyond the walls of Pascal’s kitchen. We watched as more and more people entered, fork in hand, after a piece of the Noma-induced action- ‘Noma’ being a portmanteau of the two Danish words “nordisk” (Nordic) and “mad” (Food). After a full morning of presenting our work to Lars, and an even fuller afternoon of Lars presenting his work to us, we circled a giant table to toast the unit’s successful history with Noma and speculated future collaborations- an archi-foody love story that easily trumps Romeo & Juliet. First tastes out of the way, we started to gear up for our move to Oslo.
Oslo: Old Munch, New Maaemo?
‘The New Munch Museum is a Dildo’ - Kari
Oslo’s landmark buildings will soon be abandoned, as the cultural institutions that occupy them are set to relocate one-by-one to new purpose-built facilities on the waterfront. As our site this year is one of those institutions, the Munch Museum, we instantly set out to digest the entire city by foot, bike, car, train, film, drawing, and other mediums of documentation, still full from the extraordinary archi-family dinner at the Østby-Hansens’s the previous evening. (Tusen takk!)
[caption id="attachment_6395" align="alignnone" width="360"] Architectural historian Even at AHO, Photo by Jake Parkin[/caption]
The following day at AHO, the Oslo School of Architecture & Design, architectural historian Even, who frequently collaborates with Oslo-based architecture firm Superunion, told us about the history of the city, such as the bizarre migrating fountain, and presented to us a range of current architectural dilemmas. Conversation turned to the Munch Museum where we failed to discover one person who was fond of the new development...
[caption id="attachment_6396" align="alignnone" width="360"] The Old Munch, Photo by Jake Parkin[/caption]
Enter Eirik, our PhD-access-all-areas tour guide who led the intricate wander around the Munch. No photos allowed. We saw original Munch sketches, paintings, and drawings whilst studying a labyrinth of environments used to preserve, contain, repair, and store the artworks. Stood in one of the bizarre portions of the Munch, staring out onto the botanical gardens, we learnt that there was once a restaurant in the building that, although pretty popular, had three fewer Michelin stars than our primary Oslo collaborator, Maaemo.
[caption id="attachment_6397" align="alignnone" width="360"] When AA Met Maaemo, Photo by Jake Parkin[/caption]
Our explorations continue to be accompanied by the last stronghold of place: food. Maaemo radically and rigorously experiment with what we eat. Rob, Maaemo’s head of R&D, inspired us to rethink our site context as a country-wide investigation as Chris explained just some of the ways the unit in the past has discovered new architectural languages and created new layers of building history from food. After an evening of many Christmas beers, pricey halloween nightclubs, and a fire in the Airbnb, we saw fit to begin our journey to Lyngør.
Lyngør: Lobsters at the Lighthouse
‘What the critics of Inter 9 will do to come to a review...’ - Amandine
While our main site is in Oslo, we began to expand our focus to the wider site of Norway. First, it stretched over Sverre Fehn’s iconic Villa Busk in Bamble, then covered Knut Knutsen’s Summer House by the sea, before reaching our next stop, Lyngør Island.
[caption id="attachment_6398" align="alignnone" width="360"] Frida's Catch, Photo by Jake Parkin[/caption]
Greta, a lovely local lass who has lived on Lyngør her whole life welcomed us upon our arrival, where other long-serving locals Ronnie & Kari, with the help of ex-Inter 9 Jinah, served up hot pizzas and drinks to settle us in. At night, us students were shipped off under the stars to an entire island all to ourselves; only some shy goats and a frosty lighthouse kept us company.
[caption id="attachment_6399" align="alignnone" width="360"] Map of Lyngør, Photo by ex-Inter 9 Dor Schindler[/caption]
When in Rome, do as the Romans; so we woke up the following morning to learn how to drive the boats, forage, and then fish from Greta’s sjekta. In the day we caught an array of lobster (singular), crabs, crayfish, and another local brought us cod and shark to accompany a five-meter long feast back on our island with the entire unit in the evening. We spent the night roasting marshmallows in the snow and drinking to the backdrop of Matthew’s best DJ impression. The other days we spent foraging, making films and drawings, and we spent the evenings barbecuing, baking for Bebe’s birthday, and drinking with the locals before being chauffeured back to our private island.
[caption id="attachment_6400" align="alignnone" width="360"] Storm Survivors, Photo by Jake Parkin[/caption]
That evening, surrounded by an ensemble of fourteen fast-clicking mice, we were discussing Tio’s last few hours as a twenty-three year old. And then it happened, a perfect storm cut the power to our happy little island and all of it’s neighbours, whilst also trapping Henry, Erlend, and Korey who were travelling towards us from Oslo. We sang happy birthday to Tio as our laptops began to die one after another. The owners of newly-deceased machines were rewarded with alcohol, and the chilling silence of Intermediate 9 without Whatsapp filled the room.
After an extremely cosy nights’ sleep, a rationed breakfast, and a few hours of deliberating whether or not the tutors were trying to kill us off, captain Pierce and his motley crew rocked up to our island, just as we were about to start discussing who we were going to eat first. We spent the day exploring Lyngør by foot before returning by boat to Greta’s place where the power finally came back on.
[caption id="attachment_6401" align="alignnone" width="360"] London Calling, Photo by Henry Ngo Si Yuan[/caption]
An unusual jury day... London was looming and our time in Lyngør was drawing to a close so we spent the day altogether learning about Amandine & Erlend’s live project, exploring Lyngør island and throwing as many snowballs as humanly possible before collapsing into the warmth at Ronnie and Kari’s home. Group by group we presented to a jury composed of the friends we had made during the trip, whilst petting Fanny the dog, drinking beer, and dining over Norwegian waffles- it was definitely an unconventionally wonderful ending to a wonderfully unconventional trip.
We look forward to a short sojourn or two to Copenhagen, a return to our friends in Oslo, followed by a vacay to Lofoten, a visit to Gill Meller and Will Livingstone at River Cottage, and will continue our explorations into how all that we have learned and are yet to learn can translate into each of our fourteen projects.
Of course we are extremely thankful to Amandine Kastler, Chris Matthews and Chris Pierce for organising the trips, and especially thankful to Lars, Pascal, Even, Finn, Eirik, Dan, Henry, Jinah, Erlend, Korey, Ronnie, Kari, & Greta.
For more information:
Intermediate 9 Extended Brief
Henry Ngo- TS High Pass with Distinction
Intermediate 9 PR2016
Munch Museum Website
Jake Parkin PR2016