In 2003, MVRDV, together with Norwegian firms Dark and a-lab, won the competition for the Bjørvika waterfront development and designed a dense urban master plan along Nyland Allé, the Oslo Barcode, that will be developed and realised by OSU in phases.
The project combines Norwegian bank DnB NOR's twenty offices into a new cluster of three volumes with a common basement and a 3,000m2 underground concourse interlinking the three buildings of the bank.
The project aims to create synergy and identity for the firm translating social and democratic culture into the design and making the space an enviable working facility. MVRDV's building is conceived as a steel ‘rack’ which permits adaptation to the flexible nature of the organisation. The steel rack is wrapped in a stone skin, which adopts Norwegian environmental standards. It appears as a rock, a strong shape within the boundaries of the Barcode. The niches of this rock provide space for vegetation growth: the positioning of the pixels creates roof gardens or outside areas for every floor.
The generic office floors which provide more than 2,000 flexible working spaces recline and are recessed in various places to reflect the urban context and to create communal indoor and outdoor areas and outstanding daylight conditions. At street level the building volume is opened by sheltered entrance zones, and intersected by a public passage leading to the Oslo Central Station. The pixelated design allows this specific response whilst being highly efficient and flexible. As a result, every floor of the building is both unique and generic: the pixelated volume makes the generic specific.
Additional facilities include a panoramic 140 seat canteen on the top level, an executive lounge with a view over the fjord, a board room, in the heart of the volume, DnB NOR’s trading room with 250 work stations, and the main entrance with a reception and access to the concourse. These collective elements are connected by a staggered continuous internal route of terraces, encouraging informal meetings and communication between employees and a series of wooden stairs and bridges allows travel between levels.