2_3_ScanMagazine_Issue_81_Oct-Nov_2015_Scan Magazine 1 15/10/2015 21:36 Page 73
Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway
Main image, top and left: Statoil’s headquarters at Fornebu has won A-lab two WAF-awards. Photos: Luis Fonseca (top), Ivan Brodey (left). Middle and right: The Carve, a residential building in Oslo’s new financial district, Barcode. Photos: Ivan Brodey
For Statoil’s headquarters in the outskirts of Oslo, for which A-lab won the Best Concept Award at WAF in 2008 and Best Office Building in 2012, the solution was to create an open square everyone had to pass through to get to their offices. “That way colleagues get the opportunity to update each other in a casual setting, and it creates the opportunity for chance encounters,” Klev explains. But it is not just office buildings that require places to meet; so do residential buildings, and Klev points out that it is important to create spaces where people feel comfortable and safe in even after dark: “You have to create a space where people want to linger.” In The Carve, a residential building in Oslo’s new financial district, Barcode, the firm chose to create a common area by carving out a giant hole through the building’s tenth floor. For Deg42, a new commercial project Deg42
still under development and the final addition to Barcode, the company sought inspiration from New York’s meatpacking district and opted to put meeting rooms in boxes on the façade of the narrow building. Keeping the ground in mind While the architects at A-lab have found a variety of creative ways to create meeting spaces in high places, they also pay careful attention to how their constructions interact with its surroundings on the ground level. “Oslo is a very sprawling city, but as it grows and people have to live together more intensely, it is definitely worth building higher to make better use of the space, yet remain conscious of the ground level. If a building gets too high it may cast too much shadow, and that’s not desirable either,” Klev says. Klev also highlights the importance of adapting development projects to the city
landscape: “Take the Barcode area as an example, it is located right next to Oslo Central Station, Oslo’s busiest transportation hub. In large developments like this, one should definitely take public transport into account to reduce traffic and try to utilise the space in the best way possible both for the environment and for the people living and working in the city.” The new strip of high-rise buildings stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Oslo skyline. With three Barcode buildings to their name, in addition to the ability to boast that they designed both the first and the final building of the strip, the brains behind A-lab have certainly made their mark on their hometown. Now the rest of the world is waiting. For more information, please visit: www.a-lab.no
The high-rise buildings that make up the Barcode district stand out on the Oslo skyline.
Issue 81 | October 2015 | 73
Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish singer Ane Brun.