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Wingårdhs wins Statoil competition in Norway, beats Snøhetta, OMA and Norman Foster
Posted: Friday, April 04, 2014 |

"E = mc²" by Swedish firm Wingårdhs was the winning solution in an invited competition to redesign the Forus West building of major energy company Statoil in Sandnes, Norway.

From 48 applications worldwide, the teams invited to compete consisted mostly of Norwegian names and a few famous ones: Snøhetta (NO); Foster + Partners (UK) with Space Group (NO); and Helen & Hard (NO) with SAHAA (NO). OMA (NL) was also invited but withdrew shortly before the competition deadline, much to the jury's disappointment.

The jury had four Statoil employees and three architects: Helle Juul - Architect at MAA; Henrik Lundberg - Civil architect at MNAL; and Svein Lund - Civil architect at MNAL.

Statoil will now further develop its plans for the new building based on Wingårdhs’ proposal and clarify significant regulation issues before further progress is done.

Check out the winning design and the jury's evaluation below.

Illustration of

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Illustration of "E = mc²" by Wingårdhs

Jury's evaluation of "E = mc²" by Wingårdhs:

"The first building phase of the project proposal is located towards the crossroads in the north west of he site, with close connection to existing building at Forus West and to the central point at Forus and the planned public transport lanes at Vassbotnen. The jury considers this as a solution which offsets that the distance to Forus East has become longer compared to placing the new building in the north east corner. The location contributes to strengthening a desired urbanization of the area, as described in the Forus vision.   The building's ground floor is parallel to Vassbotnen and Svanholmen with large window openings onto these. The visual contacts with the interiors on the ground floor will enrich the area."

Illustration of

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Illustration of "E = mc²" by Wingårdhs

"Above the ground floor the building has an elliptical form. The building volume is chamfered, falling from a 16 story height towards ground floor facing south. The sloping south facing roof surface consists of glass and solar panels with recessed terraces. This gives the building a strong and distinctive shape. Parking facilities with an overhead sports hall are placed under an undulating roof surface along Vassbotnen."

Site plans and perspective.

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Site plans and perspective.

"The program requires that the new building should be a passive house, but has not requested a calculation that documents this. According to the jury's assessment, this project has a great potential to achieve such energy objectives. One obtained assessment of HVAC consultant support this, and describes the author's energy and climate strategy as inspiring and confident.

The entrance is located on the south side and relate to existing buildings in a good way. The entrance is designed in a friendly and welcoming manner. Office areas and working environment are solved in an inspiring, clear and forward-looking manner. All work places are against the facade with daylight and views."

Floor plans 1:200

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Floor plans 1:200

"Service areas with toilets, meeting rooms, technical rooms, etc., are placed as a clear separation between workplace and social meeting areas and communication areas in the building's core. This core has a very attractive design, located around and in between three large, open atriums, where elevator cores and open staircases are located. The atria and the short distance up to the sloping glass roof also gives these core areas good lighting. The solution provides opportunities for varied design and motivates collaboration, both formally and informally.

Because of the building's sloped shape, the office floors get progressively smaller toward the top. This results in different group sizes and identity, which the jury sees as positive. The gradual areal reduction also means that the atria are becoming fewer and cropped differently on each floor, which contributes to variation and provides exciting spatial sequences."

Floor plans 1:500 + perspective

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Floor plans 1:500 + perspective

"A control counting shows that the project responds very well to the program’s area and functional requirements. The requirements for the number of work places, focus rooms, social areas, meeting spaces and canteen capacity are met in a very good way. The project proposal is well documented and a precise counting showed that the project meets the program requirements.  

The project has some fire safety challenges. The jury has obtained a fire professional assessment which concludes that these can be solved. This involves, among other things, the glazing throughout the atria in the building's core and at the forefront of the terraced office spaces against the glass ceiling in the south."

Elevations 1:200

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Elevations 1:200

"The project has good potential to be a great landmark and a point of reference in the Forus area. It has a distinctive, easily readable, iconic shape with high quality figure. It is both a low and a lofty building and relate well to the site, to the existing building and to Forus. It is this project that maintains coexistence with existing Forus West building in the best possible way."

Elevations 1:200

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Elevations 1:200

"The jury sees the potential for project D to be a distinct identity carrier for Statoil, which will both strengthen the Forus area and give Statoil employees pride and inspiration. The project has a significant innovative nature through advanced technological solutions, which fits well with Statoil as a leading technology company. Its clear inclined surface towards the sun is suitable for Statoil's energy and environmental ambitions. Because of a very space efficient building shape and office solution, the gross area is far lower than the other project proposals."

Images courtesy of the Statoil new Forus West competition.

Click the thumbnails below to see more images.



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