VA new partner featured on the cover of Exquisite magazine

Alexander Heien Berg, who recently became a partner at Various Architects has been featured on the cover of Exquisite magazine.

Extracts from the magazine interview:

Congratulations! You were made partner at your firm today. What has the journey been like at Various Architects to get to this stage of your career?

Thank you. It has been an interesting, educational, and fun ride. I have been working at Various Architects since 2013, and have been involved in a wide range of projects. I´ve always been curious and tried to achieve more than my job description. We have always worked as a close team, which gives me ownership of the company – I put a lot of effort on the side to bring more jobs to the company. I follow my granddad´s philosophy in life: have fun in life and in business.

Why is your company named Various?

As the name implies, Various Architects has a collaborative design philosophy that creates bespoke project teams of creatives and experts for each project we undertake. We have a network of architects, artists, landscape architects, interior designers and product designers that we like to involve in our projects where appropriate. Teamwork is an important part of our everyday life at the office.

What exciting project are you working on at the moment?

I brought in a job to transform a historical building in a locomotive industrial zone in Lodalen, Oslo, into functional office spaces. We created new extroverted building structures that compliment the historical facades. This allows for creating exciting interior spaces and enhances the daylight qualities for the building – a perfect mix of old and new. The transformation has been like a dynamo for the area, which constantly creates new design projects for our company.

Environmental solutions and innovative sustainable designs are major components of your firm’s philosophy. How do you put this into practice?

Our challenge is to engage the clients in the importance of sustainable design. Every project is different and hence the environmental solutions are different. For example our Mobile Performance Venue has been hailed for its lightweight design and 100% recyclable structure. We managed to design an inflatable building that compacts to 4% of it´s original volume. Another example is Lodalen administration building, which we focused on transforming existing functions with the contemporary ones, rather than tearing it down and building something new. This would have had a huge environmental impact. A third example is Villa Faun, which we designed with very high energy standards, even though this was not part of the requirement.

You must travel a great deal. Which 3 cities in the world do you love most for their architecture?

I love travelling and discovering the world. Just last week I was in Bangkok and Koh Samui. Amsterdam is one of the cities that I always return to for inspiration. I lived in Italy for three years as a kid, and the beautiful ancient architecture in Rome has always fascinated me. This might be one of the reasons I became an architect. I love Tokyo for its mix of old and new architecture. Crazy, sexy, cool. Last and not least, I’m impressed by how Singapore has been transforming through the years, since I was born here.

What are the architectural design styles of your own home?

Scandinavian countries are leaders in minimalist design. Norway is no exception. Norwegians have a close contact to the amazing surrounding landscape which has a great impact on our designs. As for Various Architects we focus on integrating our projects in the surrounding context and on making a positive contribution to society, regardless of the size and type of project.

What advice can you give a young student who wants to become an architect and partner like you?

Be curious and have fun – being an architect is a study that lasts a lifetime. Don´t worry about how the other students solve their task, and don´t spend unnecessary money on models – you get free cardboard from bike shops.

Villa Faun Accomplished

Various Architects is glad to announce that the construction work on our housing project in Norway is complete. Villa Faun consists of four high end appartments including two penthouses with double hight spaces and mezzanine floors. The residents are now ready to move in.

We are very satisfied with the client, Nielco AS who followed our design concept and invested in high quality architecture. We couldn’t be happier with the result, specially that the design allowed for prices of the apartments to sky rocket. The price of only one apartment almost payed for the whole construction cost.

B13 building permit approved

The building authorities in Norway has approved our housing project on the top 2 floors of a historical building in the center of Oslo.  The project consists of 10 new apartments including 5 duplex units.

We look forward to the start of building construction this year.

VA announces Mikael Pedersen as a new partner

2017 kicks in with Mikael Pedersen joining Various Architects as a partner and managing director.

Mikael graduated from the School of Architecture in Lund, Sweden in 1999. He joined Snøhetta for 12 years, working on  a wide range of projects including the Norwegian Opera and ballet. In 2011 he started to work for Nordic – Office of Architecture, focusing on the New Pier at the Oslo Airport Gardermoen project,  where he was involved from preliminary design until the completion of shell and core. He also led the Extension Non Schengen project at Oslo Airport. In addition Mikael was in charge of The Sustainability Group at Nordic – Office of Architecture, providing sustainable design guide lines for every project at the office.

Various Architects team is delighted and excited to receive Mikael as a new partner of the firm. We are looking forward to him bringing his extensive experience as well as his positive attitude to the studio!

Global attention to our hotel

Our Bicycle hotel in Norway project received a lot of attention all over the world. It´s been published on both online and hard-copy magazines in Europe, Far East, Africa and America. The project has been lauded for the design qualities and environmental approach and contribution.

Here are few of the international publications:

Wired

Archdaily

World Architecture News

Hong Kong Mensuno

Designboom

Domus

Inhabitat

Divisare

Architizer

Visit Norway

 

Construction final phase

The construction for the housing project, Villa faun is coming to an end. Work started during extreme cold winter last year. Temperatures on construction site reached below – 20 degrees centigrade. The project consists of 4 high-end duplex apartments, located near the Holmenkollen ski jump, at the North West hill side in Oslo, Norway. All the apartments enjoy an amazing view over the Oslo fjord.

We look forward to the completion of the landscape and the rest of the interior works.

TPAC Building Site Update

We recently received updated images of The Taipei Performing Arts Center. These images were take during the site visit by Managing Partner-Architect of OMA, David Gianotten. The images show great development on the construction site, since Various Architects partner, Ibrahim Elhayawan visited Taipei for the roof topping ceremony. Ibrahim was the project leader for OMA team through Preliminary Services phase, schematic design phase, working closely with OMA partners in charge, Rem Koolhas and David Gianotten.

The raw aluminum exterior of the spherical Proscenium Play house, the Grand Theatre and the Multi Form Theatre look stunning. The volumes of the three auditorium cantilever entirely from an incredible 55 m glass cube, which is has been nick named «The magic cube», due to the flexibility and the unique stage configurations of the theatres.

We look forward to the completion of the whole project next year.