The architect was Christian Thams, graduated architect from Polytechnicum in Zürich – 1886.
The history behind this pavilion, how it became the official Norwegian pavilion and it’s aftermath is quite interesting.
By early 1889 it became clear the Norwegian Exhibition Committee had overlooked a deadline for registration of pavilions in the exhibition park.
Mr Chr Thams, who was living in Paris at that time, knew of this deadline and was assigned a place for two pavilions by the Eiffel Tower, the Storehouse on Pillars for Dahl’s Pure Milk Syndicate and the Wooden Cottage.
The other two main producers of prefabricated buildings in Norway, Strömmen Trævarefabrik and Jacob Digres Færdighusfabrik who was prohibited to build their own pavilions were both given space for two storehouse facades inside The Official Norwegian Section at Champ de Mars.
Strømmen Trævarefabrik also produced the official facade of the Norwegian Section designed by arch Wilhelm von Hanno.
When it was clear that there wouldn’t be room for an official Norwegian pavilion in the Park, Mr Thams offered the Norwegian Committee a room in his pavilion for free, on specific terms:
1. The pavilion was to be The Official Norwegian Pavilion.
2. Arch Christian Thams was to receive the title The Official Norwegian Architect
M. Thams & Co delivered two more buildings at the 1889 fair. The Rear Entry Facade of the Official Norwegian Section towards Luxembourg, and the Restaurant Creole at Les Invalides. I haven’t yet found any illustrations or pictures of these two buildings.
Norwegian pavilion's construction consisted of 3.5 x 6.5 inch pine boards. The floor plan was approximately 12 m x 10 m and covered an area of 90 square meters. The story height from ground floor to first floor was 4,3 meters and the total height was 11,6 meters from ground to ridge.
Inside this pavilion M. Thams & Co had six scale models in wood on display, four chalets and two stave churches. Thams also presented catalogue Maisons en Bois pour exportation. (24 pages)
After the exhibition, some of the pavilions were sold or given as gifts to various institutions:
-The Norwegian Pavilion was sold to Gustave Eiffel to be used as an office for his company. Two conditions were linked to the deal:
1. The pavilion, right by the Eiffel tower, should stand there as long as the tower, basically 20 years.
2. The pavilion was to be called The Norwegian Pavilion during this period.
A newspaper article from 1897 refer to the M. Thams & Cos pavilion in Paris. The article states it is standing by the tower and still is the office of Eiffel. This makes me wonder about the fate of Eiffel's office building before the exhibition in 1900. Where did it go?
https://www.worldfairs.info/expopavillo ... lon_id=979
- The Storehouse of Dahl’s Pure Milk Syndicate
https://www.nb.no/items/URN:NBN:no-nb_d ... 15?page=55
- The official facade of the Norwegian Section was sold.
Buyer and new location unknown.
http://marcus.uib.no/instance/photograp ... 9-003.html (Test assembly in Norway before shipping to France)
- Jacob Digres Storehouse facade was sold to Chateau de Bizy, Vernon.
Does not exist any more.
https://www.nb.no/items/URN:NBN:no-nb_d ... 15?page=43
- Strömmen Trævarefabriks Storehouse facade was given as a gift to Musée des Arts Decoratifs. Is there be a possibility it still stands in their archives?
http://marcus.uib.no/instance/photograp ... 9-002.html (Test assembly in Norway before shipping to France)
- The Thams scale models and a few catalogues were given as a gift til Mr Carnot, the then President of the French republic, for him to decide who should receive it all.
He decided on the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiér. The scale models are still in their archives but their condition are quite fragile.
One of the models, Storehouse on pillars, is restored and was on display at the Roybet Fould museum, Courbevoie, Paris from November 13. 2019 to March 8. 2020.
https://www.museeroybetfould.fr/actuali ... mars-2020/
- The fate of The Rear Entry Facade and the Restaurant Creole, both from Thams, is still unknown.
If anyone knows about the fate of these Norwegian pavilions, I am very interested to learn more!
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It contains lots of interesting articles and illustrations.
This one for instance: Chalet - http://justinstorck.free.fr/c/chalet.php
…or this one: Plafond, fig 3165-3171 - http://justinstorck.free.fr/p/plafond.php
There are a few more relatet to Norway as well
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