LocationKarl Johans gate 37, 0162 Oslo, Norway
ConsultantsRISS AS, Linda Knoph Vigsnæs/LYSSTOFF AS
Primary ArchitectsEinar Jarmund, Håkon Vigsnæs, Alessandra Kosberg, Siv Hofsøy, Claes Cho Heske Ekornås, Ane Sønderaal Tolfsen, Jeanette Alvestad, Mari Isdahl, Martin Kandola, Harald Lode (freelance)
Text description provided by the architects. Paleet is a shopping center situated on the high street Karl Johans gate in the very centre of Oslo. It has operated as a shopping mall since 1990, a new building sitting behind retained historical facades from the 1860’s.
In 2014 Paleet has undergone an extensive refurbishment. The aim has been to create a shopping destination with a strong personality. The project seeks to provide an overall experience through exquisite design as well as offering a range of dining venues and high end boutiques. As a collaboration between Petter Abrahamsen at RISS AS, Linda Knoph Vigsnæs of Lysstoff AS and the architects Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects, the group had a shared design vision from the outset.
The project sought to enable a continuation of the shopping malls original character which was based on exclusive materials and a hospitable atmosphere, translated into a new and contemporary materiality. The goal was to rationalize and modernize the mall, building on the existing atmosphere without copying the old. The brief was to elevate the mall to a high end shopping destination in way that felt intimate, exclusive with rough feel.
The distinction between shared spaces and individual retailers are important elements in the design of a shopping center. This distinction took the form of urban walls. The shops retain their individuality through acting as theatrical openings in the wall whilst the restaurants transcend these lines and flow naturally into the shared spaces.
The warm and golden palette of the shared spaces retains a level of soberness as not to feel too precious. It has contrasting tactile qualities and a modern appeal with materials that will age gracefully. The choice of materials sets a distinct mood whilst remaining in the background, allowing the shop fronts to take centre stage. The lightly hued terrazzo flooring with golden fragments plays in tandem with the copper and the dryness of the cedar cladding of the walls.
The lightness of the floors, and its slight golden shine, acts as a stage floor, enabling goods and people to be exposed to an optimal degree. Throughout the mall the round columns are upholstered using brown leather with a French seam in a spiral pattern providing a soft tactility among the adjacent harder materials of the palette. The square columns are clad in shiny copper.
The ceiling, featuring a suspended see through metal grid, hides the servicing yet gives the impression of a full height space. The soffit with servicing elements is exposed but tinted with a deep red hue. The reflective nature of these gridded surfaces enables light to bounce and animate the space.
The new chandelier suspended above the main atrium space is a true eye-catcher which creates various light scenarios during the day. This installation will be an attraction in itself.