Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tostrupkjelleren, Oslo

One of the more monumental buildings in the centre of Oslo. Finished in 1898 for the a jeweller named Tostrup. One of the first buildings in Norway to be built on steel framework, and likewise with an lift (elevator). Clad partially in black Labrador and white Fauske marble its a striking building.

The main architect behind the building was Torolf Prytz and he was assisted by the two architects Christian Fürst and Waldemar Hansteen. Prytz got the idea to building when he visited 1893 Chicago World's Fair named World's Columbian Exposition. The American architects Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted stood behind the masterplan for the fair where Torolf Prytz saw styles that he wanted to incorporate into his own building at home. Tostrupgården therefore had a facade that was similar in composition to a lot of American pre-modern skyscrapers.The building was built to house Torolf Prytzs goldsmith business.

Tostrupkjelleren was famous bar (or actually a press club), located in the Tostrup building opposite the parliament in Oslo. The fame comes from being a sort of officially unofficial (or possibly unofficially official) meeting spot for journalists and MPs, and anybody else who is important or famous.

Lowry refers to the bar in his novel Ultramarine; "Tonight dinner, modestly, at the Tostrupkjaelderen (sic Tostrupkjelleren!" (Pg. 68).

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