Market under a roof

In Bergen, the sale of cod, halibut and prawns has come into the warm. The new Food Hall, the city's new pride, has become a modern market with a ceiling of fireproofed wood.

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The ground floor holds the market stalls, food service and seats for the public, while the upper floor houses the tourist information and Norwegian Seafood Centre.

When the architectural competition for the new Food Hall was announced in 2009, it attracted 66 proposals. The jury eventually chose that of Edel Biesel Arkitekter.

"The competition was based on clearing Torget and creating well-being and comfort, good facilities for handling fish, a good opportunity for buying seafood and maintaining the view. The Food Hall means that Bryggen and Torget can be seen from both inside and outside. Exterior and interior cross over," says architect Christine Biesel.

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The market in Bergen is both historic ground and a monument in itself, and not least an important tourist attraction..

"We called our proposal 'The history continues', showing that now we are taking a step further into modern times. At the same time, we have safeguarded the history in terms of the urban environment and ensured sight lines towards Bryggen. We chose to use large glass façades that are as transparent as possible and that can be opened up on the ground floor on fine summer days."

The inspiration for the choice of colours came from the buildings around Torget and Bryggen.

"Reddish-brown, ochre yellow and white have been used around Vågen for centuries, including on Bryggen, which is indeed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. From our point of view, the Food Hall was meant as a contribution to the continuation of this history; we are just a small part of history," says Biesel.

Fireproofed wood

Fireproofed wood has been used for the ceiling of the Food Hall's ground floor.

"Public buildings have strict requirements for fire safety. We wanted to have fine surfaces, so we chose fire impregnated wood," says Biesel.

For Moelven Wood, which has developed and produces the fireproofed wood, the Food Hall has become a reference building.

"The Food Hall is a typical example of a construction with many people in a large open-plan area with many open catering facilities, where there is a certain risk of fire. We have been working actively on fire protection for wood for 15 years and we have two different systems: fire-painted wood and fire-impregnated wood. Which is chosen depends on the wishes of the architect," says Winfried Schaal, product manager of Moelven Wood.

Facts

Fireproofed wood (BTT)

BTT is a very good choice of material where fire safety requirements indicate that fireproofed materials are necessary.
BTT is thoroughly documented and tested. Moelven has full international certification of BTT according to new EU standards.
The Fireguard impregnation is a patented Moelven product.
It was developed in close collaboration with SINTEF and the Norwegian Fire Safety Laboratory.
Moelven BTT is a collaboration with the paint supplier Teknos, which is Europe’s leader in fire protection.
BTT can be obtained in all colours.
BTT is an environmentally-friendly option.

That's how it should sound

If the atmosphere in a cultural centre is to be right, then the sound rendering must be good. With its sound-absorbing ceiling, Hamar's new auditorium is a hit.

Hamar's new cultural centre has attracted a lot of attention, and perhaps especially for its theatre and concert hall.

"The techniques are advanced, and specialist groups are now coming here regularly to inspect it and check the acoustics, which are reaping high praise. When Norway's best-known pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes,  was here, he said 'This is a hall to count on'," says Berit Listou Flock of Hamar Cultural Centre.

She emphasises however that this is not intended to be just avenue for established artists but for everyone.

"This is a place for everyone," she says.

Tailor made

Good sound is a feature of the whole building. All the rehearsal rooms have been specially made for different artists and have been built with double walls for maximum sound insulation. A corps of 60 musicians can rehearse next door to a choir of 15 with neither of them hearing disturbing sounds. The architect worked with the country's foremost acoustics specialists to ensure the best possible sound conditions in both rehearsal rooms and the main hall.

Moelven Modus AS supplied three different kinds of ceiling for the building.

"Most are T profile ceilings with matt black ceiling plates giving low light reflection and good sound absorption," explains operations manager Jon Harald Sveum of Moelven Modus AS.

In addition to the 496 seat concert and theatre auditorium and 30 rehearsal rooms, the 15,000 square metre building also houses the cultural school, a cinema and a large library.

In the basement there is also a sound studio where music workshops for young people are organised. They book time themselves to rehearse or record music. According to Berit Listou Flock, this is something that young people have really embraced.

"They come - and they are here for hours," she says.

Creates life

The new cultural centre is right in the heart of the town, where its large window surfaces give it a transparent appearance. 

"One of the consistent ideas is that the building has no back. Every side is a front. The point of making the building transparent is that everyone is able to see and get a feeling for what is going on inside, that this is an open building that is being used. From the street, you can see dancers and musicians rehearsing on the second floor, or people enjoying the library," says architect Steinar Anderssen of ANDERSSEN + FREMMING AS. The local architect's office has managed the assignment on behalf of the Danish studio Vandkunsten, which was awarded it in 2002.

Facts

Hamar Cultural Centre

Client: Municipality of Hamar
Architects: Vandkunsten a/s assisted by ANDERSSEN+FREMMING A/S
Contractor: Martin M. Bakken
Gross area: 15,036 m2
Delivery: Moelven Modus AS supplied black ceilings with low light reflection and good sound absorption..
Opened: 14 March 2014

A new living environment

The newly-established Sjöterrassen residential area has revitalised the Stockholm suburb of Fittja. The 62 apartments, surrounded by green areas and meeting places, have become a living neighbourhood.

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Fittja is one of the residential areas that was developed during the million programme, the huge national housing development in Sweden in the 60s and 70s. Directly adjacent to the high concrete complex, 62 apartments have been built. Interest in these new homes has been high from the start and they were quickly sold.

Architect Stefan Sjöberg of Kjellander & Sjöberg explains that, together with the council and the client – Hemgårdens Byggnadsaktiebolag – they have developed a vision for the area.

"We saw that it was important to create attractive homes and an attractive environment, not least since nothing had been built in Fittja since the 1970s. What was built now had to be good. The high blocks were to be complemented by lower buildings and there should also be more variation in the size of apartments. In this way, the whole area would gain new qualities. We also wanted to use as much wood as possible - the more wood the more positively the living environment would be perceived," explains Sjöberg.

Modern and energy-efficient

The collaboration with Hemgården led on to Moelven Byggmodul AB, which had worked with Hemgården on several projects. The company has produced a number of homes where industrial building and the properties of the wood have been used to create an attractive expression. It became clear at an early stage that the 62 homes would be modular. This shortens building time and considerably reduces the total costs.

"Sjöterrassen consists of modern, area-efficient buildings with an interesting design. These buildings are also more energy-efficient than is required by the building regulations," explains David Öberg, marketing manager of Moelven Byggmodul AB.

"We think it is very positive that it was decided to build in wood in this area, which is beside eight-storey concrete blocks. The architecture is varied and interesting and also represents a balanced contrast with the area as a whole. The whole project has therefore been well received on the market. This was clearly demonstrated when all the apartments were sold before we started to build them," he says, and explains that he has heard spontaneous comments from people who have lived in Fittja for many years. They did not believe that anything so fine could be built in this area.

It is also mainly people who were already living in this area who have chosen to move into Sjöterrassen.

Human profile

Architect Stefan Sjöberg explains that building on a small scale, which the vision for the area is based on, was a prerequisite for creating new qualities in the living environment.

"Our ambition is that a neighbourhood feeling should grow in this area. By providing a series of small open spaces that have everyday functions as meeting places, and perhaps open-air dining in the future, the area gains a clear human profile," he explains.

Facts

Sjöterassen

62 apartments
Homes with 2-6 rooms
Total building area: 6,000 m2
Turnkey contractor: Moelven Byggmodul AB
​Moved in: 2013–2014

Perfect acoustics

The sound in the rehearsal rooms of Hasseris Gymnas is like the finest concert halls. The interior cladding of perforated sheets means that the music sounds just the way it should.

It is highly likely that the young talents at Hasseris Gymnasium in Ålborg will be stars of the future in music and theatre. At any rate, they have nothing to complain about in the acoustics of the new extension.

The 750 extra square metres have come about through collaboration between client, suppliers, architects, craftsmen, artists and sound technicians. Because Hasseris Gymnasium's new extension was to house premises for music teaching, the architects also had to fulfil some very special requirements for the sound in the rooms and the so-called reverberation times. Because of the ceiling height, this was no easy task. The architects therefore brought in a sound specialist to help in creating perfect acoustics. This proved to be a very good idea. Because the result has been new music rooms with acoustics worthy of a concert hall.

High perforation frequency

However the perfect acoustics are also the result of the architects choosing materials that they knew could fulfil the requirements for the interior cladding. These materials come from Moelven and consist of panels and wings in fire-impregnated plywood.

"We have good experience of the sound quality that Moelven's materials can give us. The company can also supply everything in the colours we wish. And since we often play with colour, as we have done with the school in Hasseris, this is a real bonus," says Vibeke Møller.

She adds that it is the high perforation frequency in Moelven's materials in particular that helps to create the robustness that has a positive effect on reverberation time.

Satisfied client

"This extension is better than we could have dreamed. And I can see and hear that both young and old are very happy with it," explains the head of Hasseris Gymnasium, Anders Bach Jensen.

In addition to the visual expression and great usefulness, the head is particularly happy with the way the extension has secured the school's future. The reason for the extension was lack of space. Because Hasseris Gymnasium is a popular upper secondary school and the influx of pupils in recent years has had it bursting at the seams. But now there is plenty of room for all once again - and for the activities that a modern upper secondary education consists of.

Facts

What: Hasseris Gymnasium in Ålborg; 750 square metre extension
Delivery: Perforated and painted panels and wings in fire-impregnated plywood from Moelven Denmark.
Main contractor: TL-Byg, Ålborg
Architects: Kjaer & Richter
Opening: 6 March 2014

Robust palace of culture

With its large glass surfaces and cladding that changes colour with wind and weather, Aust-Agder cultural history centre has become an attractive building of character.

The 11,000 square metre building is the result of a collaboration between the state, the county authority and all the municipalities in Aust Agder, and cost NOK 330 million in all.

The building is of seven storeys, with the lowest four partly below ground level. They are built of concrete, after blasting out the hillside. The fifth floor has large glass façades and houses reception, café, shop, lecture room and exhibition areas, while the top two floors, which are clad outside in thermo ash, are entirely exhibition areas.

Cladding with life

An important reason for the choice of thermo ash for the exterior cladding of the top floors was that it is completely maintenance-free.

"It would have been areal challenge if we had had to paint or oil the cladding all the time. The colour of the thermo ash means that the building is perceived as unified in its transition between concrete, glass and wood. We are following with great interest how the colour changes over time – to begin with it was a dark reddish-brown, but now it has become lighter and, as I understand it, it will eventually be a silver-grey," says director Kjell-Olav Masdalen.

Good experience

Christopher Adams and Henriette Salvesen of Div. A. Arkitekter designed the building. They chose thermo ash as the exterior cladding because they already had good experience with it.

"Thermo ash is Moelven Wood Project's most expensive wood cladding product, but it is also the finest. We have used it both inside and outside in our own building in Majorstua in Oslo, which was completed five years ago, and we are very happy with it," says Adams.

Untreated, maintenance-free wood as exterior cladding has really blossomed in recent years, especially on public buildings.

"Historically, this was the standard - you only need to walk around the Folk Museum in Bygdøy to see that. The advantage of thermo ash is that it ages very evenly, so that all façades gradually take up the same, brown-grey colour," he says.

Long lifetime

AAks is the first museum and archival building in Norway that is a passive building, and it is also the largest building of its kind built in the country in the last ten years.

"It has been fun working on AAks. This is a sector with a completely different time perspective from most others – for them a thousand years is nothing! They have been concerned about the building's robustness and lifetime," says Christopher Adams.

Facts

AAks

The building was officially opened on 19 November 2014 and was named KUBEN.
AAks was established in 1832 and is the country’s fourth oldest institution of its kind.
The centre’s collections consist of around 50,000 items covering cultural history, ethnography, art history, numismatics, archaeology and natural history, about 8,500 shelf-metres of archives and around 500,000 photographs.
KUBEN, the country’s most modern museum and archival building, is also the first of its kind in Norway to be constructed as a passive building.
The building has thermo ash cladding from Moelven Wood Prosjekt AS.
Sources: AAks/Store Norske Leksikon

One office - many environments

No regular desk or own office, but many rooms, zones and meeting places suited to different tasks. At DNB in Bergen the working environment is flexible.

When Norway's largest bank needed to co-locate its offices in the country's second largest city, 1,700 employees moved into the bank's new building in Solheimsviken. The organisation of workplaces in the new offices was part of a larger change process in the company, and open-plan offices with free seating and a clean desk policy were the order of the day. 

"The process we have been through and the way we work now have given the organisation a lift," says Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, head of the Bergen office and DNB's corporate market in western Norway.

The offices are open plan, divided into departmental zones, meeting rooms, quiet rooms, an auditorium for 150 people, informal meeting places and so-called coffices – a coffee bar where people can sit and work together.

"Essentially, each team has its own zone and inside the zone you can sit where you like. The idea was to have flexible solutions for organisational changes," says Schilbred Fasmer.

Needs assessment is important

For DNB's main office in Solheimsviken, Moelven Modus has supplied system interiors in oak to create meeting rooms, quiet rooms,the auditorium and cell offices, as well as two types of ceiling.

Marketing manager Svein Erik Berntzen explains that they are very familiar with so-called activity-controlled offices. The concept is that we no longer need the  traditional office desk in the same way as before, but rather meeting places and workstations, where we can choose a zone or room depending on the activity in hand.

"We provide solutions for both activity-controlled offices and more traditional office environments, but we often see versions that combine the two: there are still some cell offices, but also several zones that are open-plan and more meeting rooms," he explains.

High technical standard

Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer believes that one of the reasons why the new offices work so well is that they support the working tasks better.

"Feedback from the employees is very good. The offices have great flexibility and a high technical standard: everyone can plug in anywhere. Everything works everywhere."

At DNB, they have found that the new physical working environment brings many benefits.

"I hear many people saying that collaboration across different environments works very well now. The dialogue is better than before. This is partly because we must go out into social zones for a short chat or to fetch coffee. In a large company like ours, there are obviously also many local variations in terms of well-being and working together," she says.

Facts

DNB Solheimsviken

Moved in 2013
1,700 employees
Gross area: 44,000 square metres
Moelven Modus delivered: Moelven Flush Front with oak, Uni Wall, Concept Ceiling, ceilings with oak ribbing and wall ribbing in oak.
The products were used to create meeting rooms, quiet rooms, an auditorium and cell offices.

Source: moelven.no