Finding music in the sea

Finding music in the sea

Encapsulating the drama of nature

Fosnavaag Cultural Centre is a concert hall on Norway’s weatherly west coast. Funded by local people and the strong maritime industry, the venue truly represents their community. Close proximity to the sea means prosperity, but historically also tragedy. We wanted to encapsulate the drama of nature – in a new context of sound and music.

From calm to stormy

The concert hall represents a cross section of the community. It was therefor essential to tell a story that engaged the inhabitants of Fosnavåg. While embracing everyday events, it should also be perceived as relevant to demanding consumers. With an inherent urge to push boundaries, they needed an ambitious identity that conveyed their qualities.

Based on the Beaufort Scale, originally used to describe wind at sea, we made a musical identity as changeable as the place itself. From stormy water to calm sea, from dark strings to high falsetto. From deep sorrow to unbridled joy – the dynamic identity reflects the contrasts and nuances in both music and the location.

Their identity tells a story about both the gentleness of the music and the temperament of the sea. All parts of the identity is born out of the same concept. From the windy typography, the changeable grid system and the Beaufort icons.

It’s us. It’s perfect!

Bjørn Holum – Creative Director, Fosnavaag Cultural Centre

Photography by Kristin Støylen


Working with contrasts

The contemporary structure of geometric lines and smooth dark tiled glass surfaces, the technology of the performance space, and art confront the harsh natural climate brought in by the Atlantic Ocean and are in opposition to the worn woods of old maritime premises and a landscape of rock and pine. It is an acute yet compelling meeting point where aesthetic, functionality, culture and industry are juxtaposed, but are integral to community, and provide a rich foundation from which to establish an identity system.

When working with the identity, we explored the relationships and contrasts in Fosnavåg and the Atlantic Ocean—the foundation of local industry and culture, the point at which old weathered buildings meet a precise and contemporary structure, technology and innovation, and the convergence of sea and music. This was visualised as an identity system that included dynamic animated logo and interactive signage, illuminated interior displays, t-shirts, badges and so on.