Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture and Design – Norway
Oslo University Centre.
Uncovering the enduring value in buildings Is there value in old, discarded buildings? Absolutely, if you ask the team at Rebuilding Architects. This Oslo-based studio is passionately dedicating its practice to the transformation of purpose and architecture in existing buildings, transferring their inherent value into the future with the help of ingenious and creative design.
tions, they also provide a unique opportunity to bring forth history in exciting ways, while unlisted buildings provide greater freedom to venture into the unknown and make radical changes.
By Nina Bressler | Photos: Rebuilding Arkitekter
55 buildings are torn down every day in Norway – a senseless waste of materials and resources, according to Rebuilding Architects. Ida Winge Andersen, manager of the studio, discusses the need to reuse existing building structures to increase sustainability. “There’s always value in something that has already been built; it’s right there – time, energy and money have already been spent on building it once. In tearing it down, only to build something else from scratch, a huge amount of material, concrete, steel, glass, not to mention history, goes to waste,” she says. “The construction sector is behind approximately 40 per cent of global CO2 emissions, and we believe that one way to reduce that number is to restore and develop existing buildings, which also helps to preserve the legacy 52 | Issue 136 | November 2021
of the building, as well as its surroundings, for generations to come.” Founded in 2015 and consisting of a tightknit team of eight enthusiastic individuals, the studio is passionate about changing the world for the better with the help of creative thinking and clever solutions. Restoring historical and commercial value Working with existing buildings means building styles from a vast timespan are on the drawing board: stretching from the beginning of the 20th century until the 2000s, it means that different methods need to be applied, all depending on the current condition and whether the building is listed or not. While listed buildings are more strictly tied to regula-
But on some occasions, it’s the subtle adjustments that make all the difference. “One of our projects is an office building from 2008 that didn’t manage to attract any businesses. Small alterations made a huge difference: by introducing a canopy marking a new main entrance, along with reorganising and gathering all the common areas into an open ground floor, constructing a new staircase to alRenovated staircase at Lysaker Torg, a renovated office building.