schmidt hammer lassen architects has won the competition to design a new retail and office complex of well over 50,000 square metres in central Oslo, Norway, for Store Brann Eiendom AS. schmidt hammer lassen architects’ design was chosen ahead of five competing proposals, due to its strong and innovative project design that enhances the existing urban qualities at the site and creates a new connection between the building and city life.
The winning proposal consists of an interconnected building structure in which the upper floors are divided into smaller building elements. From the outside, the project appears as a tight sculpture that adapts to the different scales of the site and to the city’s street profile. Towards the street, the building opens up and creates passages and shortcuts through the complex. In the centre of the complex, a public space is created – an urban landscape – that, as a green oasis with tall slender pine trees, reflects the vertical motif on the façade.
We have designed a project that creates a synergy between the building’s daily users, the visitors to the many shops and restaurants, and the people who simply pass through the neighbourhood. With our proposal, we are turning the building’s various functions and the site’s complex topography into the focal point of the project: stairs for sitting, sloping surfaces, openings between building levels, the cuttings, the urban landscape and the atrium courtyards will all help to create new connections between the building and urban life, and will add a whole new dynamic to the historic part of Oslo city.
– Kristian Lars Ahlmark – schmidt hammer lassen architects senior partner
The new building complex consists of approximately 10,000 square metres of mixed retail and commercial premises in the lower floors, while the upper floors consist of approximately 40,000 square metres of flexible office space. The office spaces are organized in such a way as to create a wide variety of rental options on the different floors. In addition, several office levels will have access to outdoor roof terraces with incredible views of the city.
The unique location deserves a building design that respects Oslo’s history and Scandinavian aesthetics, and therefore we made sure that our design creates a dialogue with the site context. The office areas are of a modern, robust design with a high level of quality and are designed to make maximum use of daylight conditions, as well as offering spectacular views of the Oslo skyline and fjord.
– John Foldbjerg Lassen – Founding Partner – schmidt hammer lassen architects
The office areas open up to a large common lobby, with access to related meeting and conference facilities. At the office levels, there are large open atriums where employees can meet and work.
The winning project is the second significant project that schmidt hammer lassen architects is working on in central Oslo. In the early summer of 2013, the practice won, as part of a multidisciplinary team, the competition to design the refurbishment of the Post Office project – the so-called Urban Mountain project – which, with its sustainable solutions, will transform one of Oslo’s tallest buildings into a flagship sustainable design project. The practice has also designed several buildings in Oslo’s Tjuvholmen district, such as The Thief Spa, which opened in the spring of 2014, and a major housing project at the very tip of Tjuvholmen, which was inaugurated in autumn 2014.
Architects: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Client: Storebrann Eiendom AS
Area: 58,500 m²
Competition: 2014, First prize in international competition.
Status: Scheduled construction: 2017–2020
Landscape architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Sustainability: Targeting BREEAM Excellent
*All images and information courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects.