Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has been selected to design a new, contemporary campus for the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Norway's largest geotechnical specialist community and a leading centre of research and consultancy in engineering-related geosciences. The new complex will not only create a knowledge axis in northern Oslo, but also introduce indoor and outdoor spaces for the public in an area that will see increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the coming years.
The campus complex will comprise two new buildings linked by a common entrance area across two levels, and will make room for up to 300 employees. The new NGI campus aims to create sustainable and flexible frameworks for staff, partners and clients, and attract start-up companies both inside and outside of the geoscience industry. The new buildings will serve as an open, dynamic meeting place for visitors and residents.
"The campus is designed with a modern expression and a strong identity with respect to its context," commented Kim Holst Jensen, senior partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. "The campus buildings will stand prominently in the local skyline and will reciprocate the voluminous Ullevål Stadion, Norway's national football stadium located directly across the street."
With approximately 20 percent of the campus open to the public, this project is about more than expanding Oslo's science community. Its cafes, shops and meeting spaces on the ground floor, as well as a new public green space, will integrate NGI with the neighbourhood. In addition, NGI sits on the corner of Ringveien and Sognsveien, a busy intersection that will also see the addition of a new cycling and pedestrian bridge in 2019.
The largest of the two buildings has a central, panoptic space that creates visual connection and social interaction between people across floors. It will be possible to look into the advanced laboratories where NGI's vital activities unfold. The building's facade and its framed openings create great transparency, inviting sights from the outside and optimizing the intake of daylight. Roof terraces, solar panel systems and green roofs make up the building's horizontal surfaces.
In addition to the advanced laboratories, the building also includes a central canteen and dining area, offices, meeting rooms, atriums, courtyards, and basement parking. The entire complex will be sustainable and viable in accord with Breeam NOR environmental certifications that are setting new standards for sustainability. As an important parameter, construction will be carried out while the existing NGI remains in operation.