Architects: Stein Halvorsen Arkitekter
Location: Hønefoss, Norway
Collaboration: Stein Halvorsen, Magnus Rynning-Tønnesen, Thomas Lykke Nielsen, Kjersti Poulsen, Beate Eikrem
Interior Design: Beate Ellingsen as
Landscape Architect: Stein Halvorsen Sivilarkitekter
Builder: Viken Skog BA
Contractor: Tronrud Bygg as
Project Area: 2,275 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographer: Kim Müller
Viken Skog is formed as a large display window in order to present wood both as modern construction material and as contemporary surface material – against one of the main roads to Oslo. The pine forest and the prepared wood exterior starts the story. Blueberry and heather grow close to the building.
The high pine trees create an open filter between the main road and the building. The Glass prism stretches against the wood and the road – and invites you into the mystery of trees. The main entrance gives a sense of walking through the darkest part of the forest and seeing the meadow open up – you meet the entire lobby area.
When the forest worker has left the forest, the logs remains in the ”battle field” in all directions, they are waiting for the next step in the process. Two solid logs – or walls – shape a constructive triangle and embraces a central area. In the middle of this area a cone is growing and shapes organic rooms – as the rooms between the trees in the forest.
In the open lobby you meet the bonfire that spreads a warm atmosphere – when sensing to bee in the middle of the forest. The cone’s growing through all floors – are exposed by the glass slit.
All elements and constructions, except the lift shaft, are in wood. Different sorts of wood is used in accordance with qualities. Hard oak in stairs and on floors, light aspen on walls, light spruce in massive floor slabs – creating ceilings in the rooms down under.
Offices – with requirements of sound separation and visual abilities – are located in the more solid part, wings, while coffee places, meeting spots are located in the open triangular space in between. Meeting rooms – where new ideas are born – are located in the seeds, in the cone.
Between the pine trunks, between the different elements, new sights continuously open in the mystic of the forest. At the top of the cone is the board’s meeting room, where big decisions are made – under the star sky. The cone is also a constructive element, all floor slabs are fastened with visible brackets in the glass slits.
The office wings stands as separate volumes – also in the interiors. All elements are exposed as naked forms – as trees’ poetical expression of structure and energy source. The round penetrating wooden pillars have the pine trunks character and make sure that the massive wood floor slabs come forward as branches.
The wild grown forest is transformed into contemporary constructions and surfaces. Simplicity expresses cultivated use of tree trunks on the outside. The story about the process, about our modern use of wood – is exposed in both exterior and interior.
Vertical dividing plates are part of offices’ dividing walls and function as sun protection against low Nordic sun. Solid timber elements are exposed as naked pine trunks. Exposure to weathering through time leaves traces as patina. Seeds of the forest – exposed as a gilden cone in the dark nordic forest.
Although Viken Skog is a small office, it’s a landmark and a display window for future building materials, a future where sustainability and renewable resources will be in focus – also for architects’ work. Viken Skog is a pioneer building in use of wood, in use of constructive elements through many floors – a reminder that also the alchemist must be given sustainable free hands.