Architects: Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor
Location: Oslo, Norway
Design Period: 2002-2004
Construction period: 2003-2004
Client: Aspelin Ramm / Norwegian Design and Architecture Centre
Project Architects: Jan Olav Jensen (pl), Børre Skodvin, Siri Moseng, Torunn Golberg, AnneLise Bjerkan, Kaja Poulsen, Torstein Koch, Thomas Liu
Landscape Architect: In´By
Static Consultant: Hanes & Instanes AS
Budget: 5.000.000 EURO (US $6.56 millions)
Constructed Area: 3,000 sqm
The planning and building work was done in approximately 15 months, resulting in an extremely hectic process. The building consisted of a conglomerate of different additions and alterations from around 1860 until 1980. We thought it would be appropriate and interesting to reveal this intense and dramatic history of continuous physical change by uncovering as many as possible of the “voices” from the past. This was done with different techniques that we developed during the building process, like removing only the plaster that was in bad shape and never covering anything that was uncovered. Our hypothesis was that by revealing such a huge amount of extracted architectural information we would come close to some sort of a very complex natural quality, a sort of white noise that would constitute a different kind of white box for all the objects on display.
The new additions inside are constructed with primitive and very simple Cartesian geometries, making them stand out in a ruin like environment, because of the simple instructions necessary to define them (walls, furniture, stairs, restrooms etc.). It was ideal that the restrooms were placed between the oldest and newest part of the building, but this area was actually too small for conventional rectangular restrooms. We realized that all the corners in the restrooms could actually be cut. Combined with the possibilities a new steel sheet bending machine at a shipyard in the south of Norway offered (direct creating of spline curves) we proposed to use 8mm steel plates as walls. In this way we were able to place all the restrooms in an otherwise too small area.