Text description provided by the architects. The new Oslo School of Architecture is based in an existing building from 1938, located by the Akerselva River in the eastern part of Oslo. The school is part of a larger effort to revitalise this former industrial area for education-related use. The long-term aim is a campus for arts education along the riverbank.
The project won 1st prize in an open architectural competition in 1998. The exterior of the existing building has a conservation status. The architects have kept the block open towards the river, and combined the new programme with the logic of the existing building together with the surroundings in one spatial sequence.
An access court has been cut out of the existing 1st floor slab, marking the entrance and bringing daylight in to the ground floor foyer. A strip has been cut out of the existing slab along the inside of the existing building, bringing daylight to the surrounding functions. A simple U-shaped circulation zone is established along the strip. A new string of teaching rooms completes the U and forms a bridge across the entrance area.
The ground floor is occupied by communal functions such as canteen, auditoria an exhibition spaces, workshops an library. All design studios and teaching rooms are on the 1st floor, with a view of the open interior courtyard. Offices for the research- and administration staff are on the 2nd floor.
New external walls are made by an insulated facade system, with double-glazing units in three different colours. The interior is intended to retain the workshop character of the existing building. The existing concrete structure has been exposed an chalk-blasted, and all cutting surfaces are left untreated. Floors in the main circulation spaces are polished concrete, with linoleum elsewhere and special oiled ash on floor and walls of the auditorium. Internal partitions on ground and 1st floor are covered with varnished fibrocement boards, with painted plasterboards partitions on the 2nd floor. Extensive use of glass partitions serves to retain a maximum overview and transparency.
Roof garden and covered areas have diffusion watering systems. Lawn areas subject to heavy wear and tear have been reinforced with metal grilles.
New service installations have been concentrated into seven exposed ventilation plats on the roof, to minimise horizontal ducting. The building has sprinkler projection throughout.