Signal Mediahus at Nedregate Culture District
Friday 14 Jun 2013


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In 2012 Space Group completed the refurbishment of the former industrial building designed by architects Ove Ekman and Einar Smith and erected from 1896 to 1899. This area along the Akers River was historically referred to as Ny York (New York) due to its explosive development in 1858. Today the area reflects a transformation towards a district focused on art, architecture and design.


Signal Mediahus sits next to the Aker River in Oslo. The original industrial building has a rich history of uses, from textile industry to offices and events. Part of the building burned down in the 1980s. The project inserts a completely new architecture inside the shell of the old while preserving the historic. The two correlates while both being clearly architecturally defined. 

The Signal Mediahus hosts several film production companies under one large glass roof. The program is organised around a main void that brings light from a glass roof into the deep section of the building. The program is also organised around the availability of light: cinema rooms in the basement, edition rooms, studios and offices in the ground floor and offices on the upper floors, where more daylight penetrates the building. Different programs receive different material treatments.

The space in the basement is organised around a big black box that contains the cinemas. On the ground floor, two wooden cladded boxes hosts the studios and edition rooms, while generating common spaces in the gap between the existing façade and the boxes. The boxes also serve as acoustic absorbent for the Atrium. The upper floors are as open and transparent as possible, creating promiscuous visual connection between different tenants, encouraging exchange and collaboration.

The life of the building is around the common Atrium: a lounge, meeting spaces, café, a vertical garden and a centrifugal circulation. The circulation is designed to maximise the interaction between the users and the experience of the space.

The building is designed in both plan and section as one large open space. This architectural solution allows for an efficient use of the energy and ventilation, reducing consumption and minimising the need for ventilation technical installations that can prove difficult to integrate into historical buildings. 

Space Group