Construction of Statoil’s Oslo HQ, on the outskirts at Fornebu, Oslo, finished in 2012, but the building was acclaimed long before its completion.
In 2009, it was chosen as Future Project of the Year at the World Architecture Festival and, once complete, it received the Best Commercial Building prize at the World Architecture News Awards.
Designed by architects at A-Lab, StatoilHydro sought its modern new offices to be of unique and environmentally friendly design. A-Lab’s dramatic concept featured five overlapping, three-storey buildings which, when viewed from above, appear scattered across the surrounding grassland.
The key attributes StatoilHydro required for what was to be a large and complex building were eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. Preliminary requests included district heating and cooling and low energy consumption, as well as the construction of gardens and a park around the building.
With 65,000 square metres of space spread across the five intersecting office blocks, a well-insulated external skin would be fundamental to minimise heat loss and maximise energy efficiency.
Elval Colour’s etalbond Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) was chosen to create the building’s distinguishing exterior, with 220mm deep cassettes formed from the folding of prefabricated panels. These features provide the exterior of the building with deep stress relief, enabling it to cope effectually with extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain.
The prefabricated façade system is also employed in the building’s interior, where its offices look out on a six-storey atrium. The interior panels, while of the same design, have been finely perforated to handle the acoustic challenges of the interior atrium space and assist with noise reduction.
Each of the five blocks within the complex possess a unique alignment and view. The space between the blocks forms an atrium covered by a waving propeller-shaped glass roof. The building is planned so that employees are escorted through the atrium as they arrive and leave, cultivating the chance encounters that are thought to encourage innovation.
The five structures that comprise StatoilHydro HQ are housed in 20,000sqm of coated etalbond with a special 3L PVDF Acropolis White coating. Etalbond is a technologically advanced product with distinctive features to enable more creative architectural design.
The unique and dynamic look is characterised in this project by a pattern of geometric windows that make it appear as if the entire building has perforated walls. The panels of etalbond composite can be easily curved, cut and routed to construct shapes and formations that are not achievable when using more traditional building materials.