Earlier this month we reported the winners of the World Architecture Festival Awards that happened in Barcelona. These awards according to Paul Finch, WAF Program Director: “…give architects the opportunity to showcase some of their most creative designs to an international audience. I hope we see many of these iconic buildings of tomorrow entered into the completed building categories at WAF Awards in years to come. Yet again we received a huge response to these fiercely contested WAF Awards, with 272 projects short-listed from 67 different countries. The geographical range and quality of this year’s designs were exceptionally high. ”
We are now shedding some light on Statoil Hydro Office, Norway, designed by a-lab, Norway, the winning project in the category Future Project of the Year – Commercial.
Statoil Regional Office in Oslo
The design for Statoil regional office building embodies the company core values which are identify as courageous, open, hands-on, and thoughtfulness. As a client-tenant Statoil demand a unique architectural solution, reflecting their status as a world leader within their field.
The building is located in Fornebu, the former Oslo Airport. The area is experiencing a surge in development, transforming a previously Airport into a new city-wide destination for business.
The Statoil regional office has approximately 65,500 m2, is been developed by IT-Fornebu Eiendom and designed by A-lab architects. a-lab was commissioned to develop the building, after winning the competition in 2008, competing against 45 other projects.
How to minimize the massive impact of 65 500m2 in the area? How to create a building that not just responds to the contextual issues, but that is capable of introducing a new impulse in IT-Fornebu? How to create a new identity/ icon for Statoil? Can we turn the constraints into exciting conditions? Can we create an office machine with the qualities providing an effective, efficient and healthy workplace, enhance communications and give a flexible layout?
Click to enlarge
The Collocation project represents the beginning of a new era for Statoil’s international operations, joining disparate parts of the organization, currently housed in several different locations with Oslo, in one office. The building design draws on the oil industry’s own contraction forms and techniques. By setting extremely challenging energy requirements for the building, Statoil aims to lead Norway and the world in a new generation of energy conscious office buildings. The physical manifestation of these requirements ultimately results in an iconic building solution, creating a new landmark within the Oslo fjord landscape.
In the design a-lab prioritized the synergy of the volume and the context. One of the main preconditions for the scheme is that the footprint has to fit inside the footprint of the existing multi-storey car-park. This is achieved by breaking the homogenous office program into five equally sized lamellas, dimensioned in order to get the most flexible office plans. The stacking of these then creates sight-lines between and minimizes the visual impact of the height required to fit the program within the tight site area. The primacy of the park is ensured by allowing the office lamellas to cantilever beyond the basic footprint. The in-between space created by the staking of the lamellas, is transformed in to a public covered “square” where all the activities
came across. Is a monumental atrium, accommodating the public programs and the main circulation.
In the Façade, the further sub-division into prefabricated elements each in turn composed of 15 “pixels” introduces a human scale whilst simultaneously creating a pattern linked to the structure, legible as a “giant-order” from afar. The office machine provides innumerable possibilities for configuring the workspace, both at the individual level and as a whole within the organization. The arrangement of the social cores within the overall framework of the circulation promotes positive interaction between employees, teams and departments. Optimization of the facades ensures the visual connection with the surrounding landscape, fjord and city in the distance.
The tight constraints of the actual site and footprint generate the dramatic volumetric composition. The extremely compressed procurement timescale (completion September 2012) is already leading to the development of new methods for prefabricating low U-value facades on a large scale, somewhat ironically using some materials and methods from the aerospace industry.
Project details and credits:
Location: Oslo, Norway
Build cost: 1,500 mill NOK
Total floor area: 117 000 m2
Structure: Steel and concrete (prefabricated)
Finish: glass and aluminium composite panels
Completion: September 2012
Client: IT-Fornebu Eiendom
Interior design: a-lab
Landscape design: Østengen & Bergo
Structural engineer: Norconsult M&E services: Electro : Føyn Consult / Ventilation : Norconsult