With construction already underway, the second a-lab project in the Barcode is part of what is currently the largest single commercial commission in Norway: the headquarters of Norwegian financial institution, DnB NOR developed by OSU - a cluster of 3 buildings of the Barcode, with approximately 70,000 sq m above ground.
Each building is being designed by one of the 3 original master-plan winners: MVRDV are responsible for the design of the A-building, A-lab for the B-building and Dark architects for the C-building. Completion is scheduled for January 2014. a-lab’s part of the DNB project consists of a mix-use building of 15 stories: 8 floors of DnB NOR offices, topped with living units - a total of 22,000 sq m.
The design efficiently condenses flexible office spaces, and optimises the views and outdoor spaces of housing units which are organised around a raised covered garden. The planning of the office levels allows different combinations of layouts, from open landscape to office cells.
The concept for this project is partially based on an analogy of the human body, whereby the materiality of the building can be analyzed in its three layers as skin, muscle and bone. The outer layer is natural white marble, standing for the initial ‘untouched’ shape. All the volumes removed from this shape reveal the Norwegian wood, as the muscle. The covered garden opening cuts though the middle of the building, exposing its steel structure.