Wilhelm von Hanno

Architect and Draughtsman in Christiania

Grayscale drawing of a church

Wilhelm von Hanno (1826–82) was one of the most important and prolific architects in 19th century Norway. This small exhibition presents several significant von Hanno-acquisitions, including both architectural drawings and fascinating chronicle-like sketchbooks.

See this exhibition online

The Trinity Church

Von Hanno first came to Christiania (today’s Oslo) in the summer of 1850, as a young assistant to his countryman, the German architect Alexis de Chateauneuf (1799–1853), who was working on the design for the Trinity Church. Chateauneuf soon returned to Hamburg and the municipality hired von Hanno in 1852. He was tasked with simplifying Chateaeneuf’s design to make it less expensive, and also to supervise the construction work. Consequently, when the church was consecrated in 1858 it was of von Hanno’s making, as much as of Chateauneuf’s. The Trinity Church is a highlight of the Gothic Revival in Norway.

Grayscale drawing of a church
Wilhelm von Hanno, Trinity Church, 1850?
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

Independent designs

In the years 1853–64, von Hanno was in partnership with H.E. Schirmer, and it is this period of von Hanno’s career that has received most scholarly attention. In this small exhibition, by contrast, two of von Hanno’s finest independent designs are on show: the Grønland Church, with the adjacent school and fire station (1864–69), and the former headquarters of the Norwegian Mapping Authority (1876–79) beside the Palace Park.