Archive for the ‘People’ Category

CITY SAYS NO TO PRIVATE PARK

November 12, 2008

Lyche-villaen

Drammen citys richest man is denied fulfilling his vision of a park surrounding his home. After heir to the Block Watne company, Lars Nilsen, bought his ‘dream house since age 15’, “Lyche-villaen”/”Villa Lyche”, he has acquired three neighboring houses -all of which he wishes to tear down. The houses are from the 1930s built in the style of Functionalism (or Modernism) and represents an important aspect of the city’s architectural history and culture, according to local newspaper DT.

Villa Lyche

Funny fact: His company builds houses.

Photo, Source: Blom, Drammens Tidende

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ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE HOUSES IN NORWAY FOR SALE

October 26, 2008

Located at the peninsula Snarøya in Bærum, just outside Oslo, the property bathes in sun from sunrise to sunset. The owner is Alexandra Huitfeldt, one of numerous heirs of the media conglomerate Schibsted fortune, who together with her husband Johan Thidemansen kept it as a second home. The house is expected to go for around 150 million NOK (10s of million dollars).

Sources: Blom, Budstikka, Ek

THE PRIME MINISTER’S NEW OFFICIAL RESIDENCE

October 25, 2008

US has the White House. UK has 10 Downing Street. Norway now has Inkognitogaten 18. The complex of new and old buildings called Regjeringens Representasjonsanlegg (the Government’s Representation complex) is at a total of 1320 square meters (14208 square feet). It includes Parkveien 45, Riddervoldsgate 2, Inkognitogaten 18, which have been connected with new structures, and the gardens.

Parkveien 45 “Villa Parafina” (1876-1877) is in the italian classical revival style by architect Johannes Henrik Nissen, and will be used for representation together with the 1 floor of Inkognitogaten 18 (1890). No. 18, which is at 670 square meters (7212 square feet), will house the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg and family, where the 2 and 3 floor will be private. This villa is more simple than the grand Riddervoldsgate 2 (1889-1890) which was built in a powerful new renaissance with towers, but both buildings are by Henrik Bertram Bucher. The latter will continue to be the official residence of foreign dignitaries.

The original facades have been preserved, and the rooms have been modernised, but with direct reference to the buildings’ history.

Much space is lost in the thick walls, elevator shafts, technical and security rooms, but the main reason for the project was for the Prime Minister’s safety. There is also a huge semi-underground garage and numerous terraces and balconies. The gardens dates back to the 1880s and will be restored and renewed by Snøhetta, famous for the Norwgian Opera House in Oslo and the Library of Alexandria in Egypt.

Funny fact: The complex is next-door neighbors to the Royal Palace.

Sources: Aftenposten, Dagbladet, VG, Wikipedia, Statsbygg

PROPERTIES OF THE RICHEST MAN IN NORWAY

October 12, 2008

Or should I say from? Though John Fredriksen chose to abandon his Norwegian citizenship and take up a Cypriot passport in order to avoid Norwegian taxes, he officially now is the richest man in Cyprus, but he continues to soar high above the rest on the rich-people-lists in his former home country with his $8 billions (55 billions NOK). Described as a modern-day Onassis, he started out with nothing on the east side of Oslo, but he currently owns the largest tanker fleet ever. Among the companies he is majority shareholder is Frontline, Golden Ocean, Seadrill and Marine Harvest. Fredriksen has the twins Kathrine and Cecilie (born 1983) with his late wife Inger Katharina Astrup Fredriksen. Together they have accumulated personal property around the world, almost all of which have one common feature: beachfront.

The Old Rectory

John Fredriksen mainly controls his companies from his 3000 square meter Chelsea home in London, the Old Rectory, which he bought from fellow shipping magnate Theodore Angelopoulos. The mansion dates from the 17th century and has the second largest garden in London, second only to Buckingham Palace. The Rectory was were author Charles Kingsley spent his youth when his father was the rector of Chelsea Old Church in the 1830s. Charles Dickens married in the livingroom and the battle of Waterloo was planned in the neat gardens.

House at Bygdøy

Østre Movik Farm

His late wife was the chief of the family’s Norwegian property portfolio, including the house the twin-sisters bought from their father this year at Bygdøy in Oslo, the farm Østre Movik at Nøtterøy in Tønsberg and several apartments.

There is also his palace between Puerto Banús and Marbella (above) bought from a Persian Queen in the early 90s and said to have housed celebrities such as Bruce Willis and Kevin Costner. Last but not least, is his luxury 500 square meter penthouse apartment in Limassol, Cyprus (below), with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean.

Fun fact: Fredriksen reportedly received an offer of £100 million on his London home in 2004 from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich on the property, only to turn it down.

Sources: Blom, Google, E24, Dagbladet, RBKC libraries, Wikipedia

THE PRIME MINISTER’S NEW HELICOPTER

October 5, 2008

The Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, will from now on be flying in this very trendy helicopter. It is a two-engine Eurocopter EC-135 which apparently is designed by none other than Hermès, according to the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. Before it came to Norway the helicopter reportedly used to be owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates. Jens flies with class, I’ll give him that.

NORTH WAY

October 1, 2008

“You gentlemen aren’t REALLY trying to kill my son, are you?”

Alfred Hitchcock’s movie North by Northwest (1959) is one of his greatest, with three Academy Award nominations to prove it. Roger O. Thornhill, played entertainingly with suave by Cary Grant, is an advertising executive in New York, who by chance is mistaken for a man named George Kaplan by a group of spies led by Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) with his right hand man, Leonard (Martin Landau).

With the help of pretty Eve Kendall, brilliantly performed by Eva Marie Saint, Roger Thornhill ends up being pursued across the country, but who can he really trust? The professor, actor Leo G. Carroll, is a man of government who allows the events to unfold for the greater good. Carroll has been in more Hitchcock movies than any other actor. Another casting worth noticing is role of the mother, Clara Thornhill, played by Jessie Royce Landis though she only had seven years on her “son”, Cary Grant.

The movie takes us to places like the then-new United Nations building which is photographed originally, to another quite interesting building, the house on top of Mount Rushmore. After finding Frank Lloyd Wright to be too expensive to work with, just like the people making The Fountainhead in 1949 did, MGM constructed a Lloyd Wright-inspired house for the movie as the villain’s lair.

The famous crop dusting scene where Grant is being chased by a plane is nothing less than cinema history.

Funny fact: Eva Marie Saint also plays the role of Martha Kent in Superman Returns (2006).

PAUL NEWMAN: 1925-2008

September 27, 2008

Paul Newman was a great Hollywood actor. Reportedly, even greater in life. He and his wife Joanne Woodward was happily married for a whole 50 years. Throughout his life he donated more than $250 million to charities through earnings from his food company, Newman’s Own.

As a man of simplicity who once burned his tuxedo, he always looked good both on and off screen. Newman first got an Oscar nomination in 1959 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and most recently in 2003 for Road to Perdition. He won an Oscar for his role in The Color of Money in 1987 and his four movies The Sting (1973), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Hustler (1961) is rated among the top 250 movies in The Internet Movie Database. Last year he retired from the movie business, and yesterday, the 26 September 2008, he died at the age of 83 surrounded by family and close friends.