Six outstand architectural projects honoured with top gong
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Six outstand architectural projects honoured with top gong

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Norway’s Culture Minister has announced the six winners of the the Houens Fonds Diplom, a top award recognising architectural projects of outstanding quality in the country. The constructions, including the hiking trail and viewpoint overlooking the country’s famous Trollstigen mountain road, have been highlighted as ‘role models for what is being built ahead’.

“It’s a pleasure to hand out this award to outstanding architecture. The Norwegian architecture sector displays competitiveness and is reaping national and international awards,” stated Thorhild Widvey, Minister of Culture for the Conservative Party (H).

The Houens Fonds Diplom is given to buildings of very high architectural quality that are seen as role models for what is being built ahead.

It was last handed out in 2012, but has been an ongoing tradition since 1904.

There is no prize money involved, with a bronze plaque being placed on the winning construction(s) instead.

The award forms part of the A.C. Houen fund, a testamentary fund contained in the will of Anton Christian Houen.

Houen (b. 1823, Arendal (southern Norway), d. 1894, Switzerland), was a Norwegian internationally successful businessman

A shipyard in Italy today celebrated the official keel laying for what’s being billed as the most luxurious cruise ship ever.

The Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy held the dockside ceremony as the first building block of luxury line Regent Seven Seas’ 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer was lowered into place.

Scheduled to debut in July 2016, the 56,000-ton vessel will have the highest ratio of space to passengers in the history of cruising, and Regent is promising to set a new benchmark in luxury cruising with the ship. At $450 million, it’ll be the most expensive luxury ship ever.

The ceremony – a shipbuilding custom that dates back hundreds of years – traditionally has signified the official start of construction of a seagoing vessel and is a major milestone.
“With construction beginning in earnest today, we took a major step closer to realizing our vision to provide our guests with a vessel that will be hailed as the most luxurious ship ever built,” Regent president and COO Jason Montague said at the event.

During the ceremony, a black Rolls Royce Phantom delivered three symbolic coins: A rare 1921 U.S. silver coin known as the Peace Dollar symbolizing the safe passage of the Explorer; a 1959 silver Italian Lire representing the year the Fincantieri shipyard was established; and a commemorative coin specially minted for the occasion. Monague and two other Regent executives then welded the coins onto the first building block.