Høybuktmoen Military Camp

Two walls of windows and two enormous paintings by Esther Maria Bjørneboe bring the surrounding landscape into the interior of the new mess building at Høybuktmoen Military Camp.

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  • Ekoton 1, Esther Maria Bjørneboe. Photographer: Jenny-Marie Johnsen
  • Ekoton 2, Esther Maria Bjørneboe.
  • Ekoton 1, Esther Maria Bjørneboe.
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About the project

About the project

Høybuktmoen Military Camp

About the project

The camp is in the far north-east of Norway, 12 kilometres outside the town of Kirkenes. The camp was established in 1951 on the site of an air station built by the Germans in World War II. Currently it is the headquarters of the Garrison of Sør-Varanger, which
is responsible for patrolling Norway’s border with Russia. The Norwegian Intelligence Service and the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency also have staff at the camp. Around 100 civilian employees and over 500 soldiers are based at the camp, where until recently the buildings were cramped and impractical. The spacious mess building, completed in 2012, represents the first stage of a much-needed programme of expansion and modernization.

The design of the mess building, which is a natural meeting place, has been inspired by the surrounding landscape. Grey slate tiles cover the floor, and huge windows look out towards the south and east. Civilian activities in the surrounding area, such as hunting, fishing and hiking, have also influenced the design of the mess. The colours chosen for the interior have been selected to complement other predominant colours around the base: the red wall contrasts with the soldiers’ green uniforms and the orange tables stand out against the blue sky visible through the huge windows.

Esther Maria Bjørneboe’s (NO) paintings Eketon 1 and Eketon 2 were installed in 2013 on the north- and east-facing walls respectively. Although the shapes in the paintings are abstract, they are clearly inspired by the landscape and appear reminiscent of clouds and rolling steppes. Bjørneboe created the paintings using acrylic paint on polycarbonate panels. The panels have been treated so that the paintings have an extremely reflective surface, which reflects the surrounding landscape as it changes throughout the day according to weather conditions. The English word “ecotone” (økoton in Norwegian) is usually used to describe a transitional zone between two ecosystems. An ecotone may assist species in extending their range to new areas. The titles of the paintings refer to the Garrison’s particular situation, its role in guarding the border with Russia, and its use as a venue for important dialogues between the two countries. The two paintings also provide a constantly changing visual display, helping to create a pleasant and cosy environment within the large open mess hall.



Date completed


Project manager

Mette Kvandal, KORO
Dag Wiersholm, KORO

Art consultant/Art Committee

Inge Pedersen, Utvalgsleder
Jenny-Marie Johnsen

Art Committee

Harald Enebakk, Repr bruker
Knut Breivik, Repr byggherre
Inger J Lauritzen, Repr arkitekt






Tilgjenglig for publikum


Art scheme for new government-owned buildings



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