Vulkan, Oslo

Project details

Location: Vulkan, Oslo

Size: 9 400m²

Client:

Recognition: Concrete Panel Prize 2012, City Prize 2012

Built: 2011

Project description

The project comprises a hotel, artist’s apartments, office and with a mixture of workshops and bars and eateries in a bazaar-like structure at the lower street level along the main Aker River running through the heart of Oslo.

The building aims to negotiate a transition through steep terrain between the main road, “the floor of the town”, and the planned cultural square in and around the old industrial buildings along the riverside.
The compact hotel accommodates 130 rooms, a bar and 100 seats restaurant with views to the river.
The commercial floors are intended to serve as local offices and studios.
The lower level spaces are intended for use as workshops for local artists and various eateries and bars with the tables of a large café/restaurant spilling out onto the square to form a focal point at lower street level.
There are also programmed apartments, duplex and studios in the 4 floors of the smaller block-like structures.

The primary challenge was to create a mediator for the existing dominant 1940s blocks at upper ground level and the attractive brick and steel industrial riverside buildings from the turn of the 1890s without extinguishing either. The hotel starts roadside at it’s highest point, and steps gradually downwards toward the river in a controlled manner that offers greater views and light to the existing buildings than the regulated site lines would have allowed without affecting the maximum area.

The project forms a dramatic ending to the long façade of the existing 40´s blocks at upper street level creating a portal to the cultural square.
The building’s gentle curving motion envelopes and gives a stable backdrop to both the existing buildings and the programmed cultural square.
The structure is primarily steel with concrete slabs, clad with cement fibre board cladding and render.
The roof of the overbuilt area between the existing 1940s blocks and the new scheme forms an attractive communal garden.  At the northern end a planted terracing opens the restaurant and reception to the communal garden.