Two teams have been announced as the finalists of a competition to rebuild Norway’s government headquarters after it was bombed in 2011 during the country’s worst terrorist attack in modern history. The state building agency Statsbygg selected G8+, comprised of A-Lab and LPO Architects, and Team Urbis, which includes the firms Haptic and Nordic, out of a group of seven teams to create a safe, inviting hub of ministry buildings for central Oslo.
The 150,000 square-meter complex will be one of the largest architectural undertakings in the city’s history, offering around 5,700 workplaces. The revitalization encompasses a renovation of three existing buildings and the addition of six new buildings to the historic Regjeringskvartalet area.
The proposal by Team Urbis focuses on the reintroduction of public spaces into the city through two urban squares and a park. To provide flexible workspaces, the buildings are low-rise and have large footprints. The buildings feature setbacks formed to take advantage of sunlight. The team was comprised of engineering firm Ramboll, SLA and Bjørbekk & Lindheim landscape studios, and consultants Asplan Viak, COWI, Aas-Jacobsen, Per Rasmussen, Scenario and NIKU.
G8+’s proposal envisions the site with a new central square that would provide a gathering space for government workers and the public. Circulation around the center is provided by both a network of ground-level paths and a series of raised bridges that connect the administrative buildings. Attention is placed on the appearance and usage of the first floors of the buildings. Designated as places for social interaction, each building’s first floor is given a distinct character with visually expressive facades to attract visitors. The G8+ team included architecture firm Ratio, Gullik Gulliksen landscaping, engineering by Sweco, interior studio Iark, and consultants Norconsult and Dr Techn Olav Olsen.
The rebuilding in Oslo accompanies a handful of architectural responses to the devastating attacks. The most notable completed thus far is a memorial built by 3RW Arkitekter in 2015 to commemorate the shooting victims from the massacre on Utøya island.
The jury will choose one of the two projects to move forward by Fall 2017 after considering detailed proposals. The complex will begin construction in 2020, and is set to be completed by 2027.