Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture and Design – Norway
Domus Medica, University of Oslo.
HRTB arkitekter: transform and inspire HRTB Arkitekter design and work across a broad range of projects, including housing, urban planning, healthcare, research, education and commercial projects, covering construction as well as urban planning projects all across Norway. The firm fuses traditional Norwegian architectural qualities with modern, sustainable architecture, creating innovative and distinctive projects for a broad spectrum of public and private sector clients. By Heidi Kokborg | Photos: HRTB
Originally founded in 1961 by three young architects, following a first-prize win in a major urban planning competition, HRTB has many years’ experience of designing and working across a myriad of projects. The Oslo-based firm now has ten partners and a total of 28 staff. “At HRTB, we work across many different sectors, but our values shine through in each and every project, whether an apartment building in central Oslo, a research centre or a healthcare project in rural Norway,” says Harald Lone, partner and architect at HRTB. 46 | Issue 136 | November 2021
Despite working on a wide range of project types, the firm’s design approach is similar for each project. The first things they take into consideration are the location and the context, and then they design buildings with respect for the surrounding environment, which are simultaneously of their own time. “We try to find out what the significant elements are in each area, and then create new buildings where we link the surrounding environment and historical context with a modern, calmly confident architecture,” says Lone. “We also like
our projects to have a distinct element. It could be the way an entrance sequence is created, the colours or the choice of materials – something that catches the eye a little bit, but without being too much.” It’s important that the projects have a certain distinctiveness, while at the same time avoiding being too dominating in their urban environment. HRTB always strives towards a balance between these two concerns: each project has a unique quality, yet is timeless and considerate of its context. “Our projects do stand out, and they are recognisable. Even the most modest project will be designed with creativity and innovation. We aim to design projects that are both transformative and balanced,” explains Lone. Sustainable and inclusive projects Throughout the design process, there’s one more thing the architects at HRTB always try to keep in mind: inclusivity. Many