Military Base / A-lab

A-lab just won a competition to design a military base in Norway which will be situated on the northern border with Russia. The design challenge was to create a cohesive complex where work and private life coexist, and where military services meet the civil community.

More images and more about the winning design after the break.

The project is comprised of a larger  u-shaped building which houses most of the functional needs, while the remaining program is organized in smaller satellite buildings.  The main building is centered around a courtyard and the circulation on the ground floor is located along a glass façade surrounding it. “This gives a constant visual connection between the activities going on inside and outside, with the opportunity to open the façade and let some spaces to physically expand out into the courtyard.”

The ground floor holds work related functions.  As such, the floor has a strict, functional design to meet all the requirements for the daily activities at a border station, such as training, administration and emergency call-outs.  The first floor accommodates living relation functions, such as rooms and a fitness center.  All rooms have a view out to the wild nature or the courtyard in an effort to maintain the spirit of the courtyard as the heart of the building.

The main building and its satellites maintain a “strong architectural coherence”.  Wood is the main material used both in construction and façades, yet used differently to reflect the outer expression of private or public activities.   More secret activities are clad with dark wooden panels, mirroring glass in common rooms and deeply positioned windows in the remaining rooms. This creates an anonymous appearance in comparison to the façade towards the courtyard, with translucent glass and labeled doors, where function, clarity and openness are the keywords.


All images courtesy of the architects.

Location: Svanvik & Storskog, Sør-Varanger

Property developer: Forsvarsbygg

Partners: Adnan Harambasic, Geir Haaversen, Odd Klev

Design team: Adnan Harambasic, Geir Haaversen, Odd Klev, Katrine Holm, Øystein Skorstad

Gross area: 3320 m2 per station

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About this author
Cite: Karen Cilento. "Military Base / A-lab" 18 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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