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At Ground Zero

Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited Ground Zero in Manhattan this morning. The Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta won the prestigious commission to design the Museum Pavilion located in the Memorial Plaza.


The pavilion will be the only building in the plaza and comprises the entrance to the subterranean museum of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center. The pavilion will be the only section of the Memorial Museum visible above ground.

Snøhetta presented its model of the pavilion to the public in 2008. Two massive columns recovered from the ruins of the Twin Towers constitute key elements of the building. The pavilion is planned to be completed in time for the 10th anniversary memorial on 11 September 2011. The museum is scheduled to open its doors in 2012, and is expected to attract two million visitors a year.

The Race to the End of the Earth

After visiting Ground Zero, His Royal Highness The Crown Prince continued on to the American Museum of Natural History to view the exhibition “The Race to the End of the Earth”, which recounts the dramatic 1910-1911 race between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott to be the first person to reach the South Pole. In addition to learning about the race itself, visitors can see how the teams prepared for their journeys, the equipment they used and the conditions of ice and cold they encountered.

The exhibition also describes research activities in the Antarctic at the time, drawing a line to polar research activities today. Crown Prince Haakon has himself travelled in the Arctic together with researchers, and after viewing the exhibition he answered questions from schoolchildren who wanted to hear about his experiences. The children also wondered about what Norwegians thought of Amundsen and his efforts and whether the Crown Prince believed that science was an important school subject.

Cylar House

Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess visited Housing Works’ Cylar House. The Crown Princess serves as a Special Representative for UNAIDS, a UN programme for combating HIV/AIDS.

Housing Works is an organisation that has been successfully helping people with HIV/AIDS who are also homeless. Housing Works provides housing, health care services and social support to people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to offering education and help to return to the work force, the organisation is the only one that provides housing for active drug users. Many Housing Works staff members are former clients.

The Cylar House housing project is located in Manhattan, and features a medical clinic, treatment programme and 36 apartments. It also houses the kitchen for The Works Catering, which both supplies revenues to the project and provides clients with valuable job training. The Cylar House is named after Housing Works cofounder Keith D. Cylar, who died of AIDS-related causes in 2004.

The Crown Princess visited several of the apartments as well as the kitchen, where she was given a presentation of the job training activities there.

Award to Snøhetta

The architecture firm Snøhetta was once again in the spotlight when the Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended an official luncheon hosted by the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC). The NACC works to strengthen industrial and financial relations between Norway and the US, and launched the Norwegian-American Trade Award in 1996 in cooperation with the Norwegian Trade Council.

The recipient for 2010 is Snøhetta, which was presented with the award for its outstanding work around the globe. In her speech at the awards ceremony, the Crown Princess highlighted key aspects of the company’s projects:

One of the main characteristics of Snøhetta’s work is the importance attached to context and landscape, and to achieving harmony between buildings and their surroundings. Close collaboration with artists has been of crucial importance in most of your projects, and you operate with great success in the interface between art, culture and business. You also strive to produce designs that are eco-friendly, sustainable and of high quality.”

Norwegian Seamen’s Church in New York

This afternoon (local time), the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will visit the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, where they can look forward to coffee and the church’s award-winning waffles in the company of Norwegians living in New York. Founded in 1878, the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in New York remains an important venue for religious, social and cultural gatherings both for Norwegian sailors and for Norwegians and Scandinavians living in the area.

Gala banquet

This evening, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will attend the gala banquet to launch the centennial anniversary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF). The objective of the foundation is to forge cultural and educational ties between the Scandinavian countries and the US. The ASF awards grants to students and researchers on both sides of the Atlantic and promotes the exchange of students, trainees and researchers between the two continents.

Crown Prince Haakon will be one of the speakers at the banquet.

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