Schmidt Hammer Lassen has won a competition for the design of a new office building in the Lysaker area of Oslo, Norway. Titled ‘Varden,’ the scheme seeks to “craft a prominent landmark and a navigation point that resonates with the environment.”
Drawing its name from the Norwegian term symbolizing manmade stone markers in the wilderness, Varden integrates with an existing rock formation to become a “natural extension of the landscape.” In addition to its role as an office building, the scheme incorporates a network of indoor and outdoor public spaces to create a “hub of activity.”
The design proposal was orientated towards three key scales: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. Pedestrians are addressed through the scheme’s interaction with the neighboring Teleplanbyen urban development, while cyclists and motorists are considered through the site’s proximity to a planned bicycle network and existing motorway respectively.
"Varden" is a testament to duality - it's both iconic and human in scale, timeless yet adaptable for the future,” Schmidt Hammer Lassen explains. “It shields occupants from motorway noise while remaining an inviting public space, open to all.”
Other recent projects by Schmidt Hammer Lassen to feature in our editorial include a mass timber gateway to the University of British Columbia campus designed in collaboration with Perkins & Will as well as Shanghai Library East, one of the largest libraries in the world.
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