Y-block, Government Quarter, Oslo, NORWAY
The Y-block, an iconic government building with symbolic significance, now faces the imminent risk of demolition. The Modernist building was designed by the architect Erling Viksjø and was built in the 1950s. Towards the end of its construction, Pablo Picasso designed two murals for the decoration of the building in the innovative sandblasted concrete technique, a new method developed by the building’s architect and the artist Carl Nesjar. “The Fisherman”, found on the facade and “The Seagull”, located in the interior, are rare examples of public art produced by Picasso.
In 2011, a Norwegian terrorist detonated a bomb in The Government Quarter, killing 8 and injuring 200, before travelling to the youth camp of the Norwegian Labour Party where he murdered 69 young people, injuring a further 66 victims.
The buildings withstood the attack, and the site now acts as a memorial to all victims of the attacks. They are a symbol of the resilience of the democratic values that the terrorist failed to destroy. Fortidsminneforeningen – The Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments renewed their nomination of the building to the 7 Most Endangered following its shortlisting in 2016, to halt the plans to demolish the building.