Credit: George Brown
Norwegian Wood: The Thoughtful Architecture of Wenche Selmerby Elisabeth Tostrup (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006)
One of the few prominent women architects in Norway during the last century, Wenche Selmer came of age during the post–World War II reconstruction boom. She traveled and worked abroad but returned to her native Oslo to plumb the richness of Norwegian building traditions and to raise her young family.
Delicate balances informed the domestic architecture she designed. She sought out simple forms and open plans that honored the past and embraced modern life and that brought out the natural beauty of the landscape. Her houses were so sensitive to their sites that she received permission to build close to the coastline even after conservation restrictions were put in place. As an associate professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (where the author of this book is a professor), she influenced scores of young architects with her technical accomplishments and her pragmatic, insightful understanding of residential architecture.