Norway’s ’Salmon Eye’ Opens in Hardangerfjord

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Accessible only by ferry, the floating exhibition space is designed to inform visitors about aquaculture and the future of the seafood industry.

Eide Fjordbruk is an established salmon producer in Norway’s Hardangerfjord region. The third-generation owners Sondre and Erlend Eide wanted to remember their father while creating something of value.

Salmon Eye launch event in Hardangerfjord, Norway.
Salmon Eye launch event in the Hardangerfjord, Photo: Kvorning Design.

The result? Salmon Eye, a new floating installation and forum space that’s designed to educate visitors on sustainable seafood, fish farming and the production of Norwegian salmon.

Seafood is a huge success story for Norwegian industry, second only to oil and gas. The export value of salmon is twice the amount of all other fish combined. However, there are critics of some of the industry practices.

The idea for the project began in 2019. Kvorning Design‘s experimental plans were revealed in 2021 and the building completed in August 2022, in time for the unveiling event in the Hardangerfjord earlier this week.

Experimental design becomes a reality

Bold architectural designs are nothing new these days, especially in Scandinavia. But very few of them actually become a reality.

Salmon Eye exhibition centre in Hardangerfjord, Norway. Photo: Kvorning Design.
Salmon Eye exhibition centre in the Hardangerfjord. Photo: Kvorning Design.

Danish firm Kvorning Design stated their gratitude to the Eide family for their trust and cooperation with the design and communications firm around the realization of the experiential design for Salmon Eye.

The basis for the design was a fish eye with a hole on top of the architecture. Based on this, the curved, floating architecture and art installation is covered in 9,500 stainless steel plates designed to imitate the appearance and colour of fish scales.

Salmon Eye weighs 1,256 tonnes and is 25 meters in diameter. Also designed by Kvorning Design, the interior features 650 square metres of space. It’s divided into four floors, one of which is underwater.

Salmon Eye as an educational space

The forum element of Salmon Eye is an immersive audio-visual space designed to inform visitors about the aquaculture of sea farming and what harms and protects the sea and its species.

Smoked salmon on bread in Norway
Salmon is an important export industry for Norway.

According to Eide, it is designed to help visitors recognise the ocean as an important food source, educate them on seafood practices of today and what future standards in aquaculture might look like.

Planned events include talks that aim to inspire, share ideas, and discuss the importance of sustainable aquaculture with its guests.

Eide’s environmental push

The Salmon Eye is undoubtedly a passion project for the brothers Sondre and Erlend Eide, the third generation in the family’s business. With some critical of the environmental impact of salmon farming in Norway, Eide is hoping to change people’s minds.

Eide Fjordbruk was the first fish farming company to produce carbon-neutral salmon, and the first to present environmental accounts. The company has introduced all-electric boats and facilities.

The firm will shortly unveil a new technology known as “Watermoon”, which it states enables farming in the fjord and sea with no negative impact on the environment or climate.

What do you think of the Salmon Eye?

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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