Pir II proposed a simple conceptual approach for differentiating between several layers of the institute´s activities. The project focused much on the use of natural wooden materials, both as load-bearing structures and cladding.
The concrete base of the project is shaped on the metaphor of a glacier. It holds a semi-public meeting center, laboratories, technical and storage spaces. On top of the glacier stands a wooden box which is an office block in four stories. In between is the ground floor with the main entrance, library and a shared cafeteria.
The load-bearing slabs of the office block are made out of 170mm thick elements of massive
wood. The size of each element is appr. 1,2x4,2 m, and there are approximately 5000 elements in total. The elements have their underside exposed to the interior of the story beneath.
The building has a passive house energy standard for office buildings. To avoid the need for mechanical cooling, Pir II designed exterior solar shadings of the same wood as the cladding. The exterior shading also reduce the need for venetian blinds and help maximising the daylight quality of the interior. The shaders, combined with several semi-climatised spaces integrated in the façade, have become a main architectural feature of the building.
The massive wood elements have exposed undersides. This aids in the natural adjustment of the humidity and improves the the indoor air quality. The inside of the exterior walls are covered with wooden panels mounted with gaps. In this way the thick insulation of the wall acts as a sound absorbent, and the acoustic environment is greatly improved.
NINA – Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Norsk institutt for naturforskning)
Pir II Arkitektkontor AS
Agraff Arkitektur (Landcape architecture)
Cox Strategisk Design (Interior architecture, together with Pir II Arkitektkontor)
Rambøll AS (Consulting engineer building/construction, building physics, fire, energy)
COWI AS (Consulting engineer heat, ventilation and sanitary technique and acoustics)
Prosjektutvikling Midtnorge AS (Consulting engineer electrical engineering)