Gjøvik Child Care Centre

The art project Arboretum occupies part of the garden at Gjøvik Child Care Centre. The project includes trees from various places around the world that have been planted inside a pavilion. The idea behind the project is to create a link between the places the children come from and the place where they are now.

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  • Arboretum, av Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter. Photographer: Pasi Aalto
  • Gjøvik omsorgssenter for barn, Oppland.
  • Arboretum, av Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter.
  • Arboretum, av Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter.
  • Arboretum, av Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter.
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About the project

About the project

Gjøvik Child Care Centre

About the project

The Norwegian Child Welfare Service is responsible for unaccompanied refugees aged under 15 who arrive in Norway. While the children are waiting for their applications to be processed, they are offered accommodation at a child care centre. One of these lies in rural surroundings outside the town of Gjøvik. The site overlooks Lake Mjøsa and is close to skiing and football facilities. The centre, which operates under the auspices of the Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufetat), is divided into five sections and accommodates five to seven children in each house. Many of the children are from Afghanistan, but there are also children from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Iran.

In connection with the refurbishment of the centre in 2008, Rintala Eggertsson Architects devised an art project for the garden. The pavilion is formed as a world map in which the children can identify their home towns and countries – and may also find trees that they recognize from before. The map is divided into triangles in accordance with a projection developed in the 1950s that attempts to represent the surface of the globe as accurately as possible. In this version of the projection, the continents form a nearly contiguous series of land masses, showing how the peoples and cultures of the world are linked together in a long chain. Moving through the garden is a sensory experience, and the children form a personal connection with the pavilion by helping to care for the trees and maintain the fences.

Rintala Eggertsson Architects have become well known for their innovative and experimental approach. They have completed projects all over the world, including a number that occupy a place somewhere between art installation, architecture and urban development. About their art project for the centre at Gjøvik, Rintala Eggertsson have said “while the children wait for clarification about their situation in life, they need to feel that the planet is flat, so that they are less in danger of falling off in the general tumult.”




Øverbyvegen 91, 2825 Gjøvik

Date completed


Project manager

Yngvild Færøy

Project manager

Mette Kvandal

Building owner/developer


Art consultant/Art Committee

Per Henrik Svalastog


Plan og Prosjekt Arkitekter AS




Tilgjengelig for publikum


Art scheme for new government-owned buildings



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