The Norsk Design- og Arkitektursenter at Hausmanns Gate 16 in Oslo was an industrial building - formerly a transformer station. The earliest part dates from 1898 but with substantial additions in 1917 and 1948.
The setting is dramatic next to the church of St Jakob but on the west bank of the Akerselva river and this was clearly an industrial part of the city that is now being revitalised.
The buildings were converted in 2005 by Norsk Form and the Norwegian Design Council and now house a large exhibition space, with offices, conference and seminar rooms and a cafe and shop.
The core work of the Design Council is to act as consultants to Norwegian business to promote the “understanding, knowledge and use of design.” Norsk Form provides “interdisciplinary studies, innovation, debate and network-bulding in the fields of design, architecture and urban area planning.”
Aims and mission statements can often sound oddly mechanical and sometimes off putting but I really would urge anyone visiting the city to visit DogA. It was humming with activity and the people I came across were enthusiastic and friendly ... oh and the cafe was great.