Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority HQ / Space Group

© Jeroen Musch

Architects: Space Group
Location: ,
Competition Team: Gary Bates, Gro Bonesmo, Adam Kurdahl, Fredrik Kjellman, Naofumi Namba, Tim Prins 
Project Development Team: Gary Bates, Gro Bonesmo, Adam Kurdahl, Anne Wodstrup, Naofumi Namba, Wenche Andreassen, Claudia Laarmann, Geir Vågen, Gesine Gummi, Jens Niehues

Client: Breeze Luft AS/ Luftfartstilsynet  
Site: Waterfront property, Bodø city center 
Area: 6,000 sqm
Completion: 2011
Design: Space Group
Photographs: Jeroen Musch


© Jeroen Musch

Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority HQ / Luftfartstilsynet in Bodø, Norway

Building a new headquarter for Luftfartstilsynet is a challenge in creating a place for an uprooted organization, transplanted from Oslo to Bodø, and in doing so, Building a new office culture.

The site, a compact waterfront property, is hidden from its street address by the recently completed NAV building. Exploiting the one story difference between key level and street level, we perforate the NAV building with a tunnel that becomes a programmed (reception) bridge, connecting to the freestanding Luftfartstilsynet. Urbanistically the building completes the urban fabric whilst providing Luftstilsynet with a stand-alone building – connected and free.

Our strategy, committed to Culture and diversity, extends the entry tunnel to a raised, open level in the building. The canteen is a shared space on level 2, together with special meeting spaces and a course center. This ’openness’, the interface between the city and office, expands the otherwise singular program of canteen to a multiplicitous space for territorialization – reception, meeting, course, lunch, party, retreat space.

© Jeroen Musch

Triggered by the sight lines of the city, the building is surgically cut, like a diamond, capturing the dynamic light of the north in surprising ways. The resulting form is reminiscent of the evasive form of the Stealth military plane, and the sharpness of folded paper planes. The building morphs from a large, square footprint at the base to a pure, rational office slab – from public to private.

The cuts on level 2 and 4, terraces connecting to break-out spaces inside the building, are generous informal spaces for meeting, within the stunning landscape.

Luftfartstilsynet Headquarters represents a new definition for the SPEC office building: high design ambition and high environmental standard (LEEDS standard). The status quo for facades in standard office buildings represents a process driven by contractor driven reductionism and excruciating budgets. The ensuing simplification has reduced detailing and ornamentation to a bare minimum. Breaking an unwieldy formulaic approach, we implement 4 strategies for the facade. First, through a 5 step color gradation of the stone, from black to white, we are able to create a building that sits firmly planted on the key, and diminishes vertically.

plan 02

The perception of the building is constantly changing, at times even disappearing. Secondly, to accelerate the movement of the building, the stone sizes change from very large tiles at the base, to small at the top. Next, the treatment of the stone varies, from polished and smooth at the base (human contact), to flamed in the middle portion, and hammered at the apex. And lastly the fenestration, is positioned flush with the stone, compliments the sculptural form of the building and accentuating the flux as it relates to the dynamic physical environment.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority HQ / Space Group" 12 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>