The International House

The International House at Gløshaugen. Photo.

The elegant grey wooden building on the northern fringe of the Gløshaugen campus, now home to the Office of International Relations, has a long history hidden behind its serene facade.

The International House was constructed in 1850 as an estate house (Gløshaugen gård) for Lieutenant Ulrik Sissener. In 1886, the structure was purchased for use as a school for the blind, Norway's second, after a school in Oslo was opened in 1861. The school started in January 1886 with just two students, but soon there were 11 students who both lived and studied in the building.

In 1897, the building was used for the Statens Taleskole for Døve, or the National School for the Deaf, which was housed here until 1917; a picture from 1916 shows students learning to be shoemakers. The fledgling Norges Tekniske Høgskole, one of NTNU's predecessors, took over the building in 1919 for use by the Department of Geology and to house the mineralogical collection of one of the department's most famous professors, Johan H.L. Vogt. Vogt's work on how ore deposits were formed was cutting edge for the time, and brought him international fame.

The Geology Department moved out of "The White House" in the mid-1950s, and in 1960, the Department of Theoretical Physics division moved in.The various branches of the Physics Department were moved under one roof in Realfagbygget in 2000. The Office of International Relations moved into the building in 2002.