Mesterfjellet School

Various Architects, together with CEBRA Arkitekter and Østengen & Bergo Landskapsarkitekter are one of four teams competing to design a new 1st to 10th grade school in Larvik, Norway. 28 teams applied for the project and four were selected to take part in the competition. The project start-up meeting was held in December 2010, and the deadline for delivery is the 4’th of March, 2011. Work is underway, and are excited to be competing against colleagues from White Arkitekter (SE), L2 Arkitekter (NO), and Link Signatur (NO).

Taipei Performing Arts Centre

Various Architects have been asked by the Office of Metropolitan Architecture to join their team of architects as consultants on their competition winning Taipei Performing Arts Centre (TPAC) project in Taiwan. The project will be run from a newly established OMA office in Hong Kong, lead by David Gianotten. The Hong Kong office will also be working on several other projects, including the masterplan of the West Kowloon Cultural District and the Shenzen Stock Exchange.

Partner Ibrahim Elhayawan from Various Architects will be the project leader of the OMA team, and will work closely with Rem Koolhaas and the OMA team to develop the 40,000m2 theatre in Taipei from competition scheme to the definitive design phase. Various Architects were approached by OMA due to our extensive experience with complex cultural projects and theatres, something we look forward to further extending in Hong Kong.

The TPAC contains a 1500 seat theatre and two 800 seat theatres, which can be connected together in many configurations via an innovative and flexible stage arrangement. We are extremely excited to be a part of the OMA team on this bold theatre project and look forward to our collaboration over the next year.


For more information about the project refer to the OMA project page.

All images by OMA / Frans Parthesius© All rights reserved.

Mobile Performance Venue

The Mobile Performance Venue (MPV) will represent Arts Alliance Productions and their performance «ID – Identity of the Soul» worldwide in 2009. ID is a five-screen cinematic performance based on Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s epic poem Terje Vigen and Mahmoud Darwish’s poem A Soldier Dreams of White Lillies. Associative images of the poem, interspersed with filmed images of an actor presenting it are projected onto five 12mx7m HD-video screens. Live dancers perform in front of, behind, and between the screens throughout the show.

The client brief for the project is for a lightweight and easily transportable venue that meets their technical requirements for projection screens and surround sound system, while also creating a unique and iconic structure. The current design (end of schematic design phase) makes the MPV the largest mobile venue in the world. The dynamic oval form is 90m x 60m, ranges from 10m to 17m tall, and has 3900m2 of covered space. The central performance space (2000m2) will hold a standing audience of 3500 people. Optional configurations include optional stadium seating and conversion of the central screen to a stage for live performances. The project is divided into 20 structural segments which allow varying configurations ranging from 2000 to 3900 m2 total area if needed.

The public plaza is formed by an arcade of open hexagons at ground level that mark a clear entrance to the otherwise closed form. This plaza contains all of the necessary front-of-house functions such as ticketing, cloak room, and restrooms. A mezzanine area above can be used for refreshments, catering, exhibition, or VIP functions. The back-of-house skin has a more complex and closed pattern. This serves to protect the projectors, sound systems, personell, and dancers behind the screens.

Sustainability is a difficult and complex topic for a project of this size that requires transport. Our main goal was to make the structure as lightweight and compact as possible to reduce shipping weight and volume. One example of this is the self-supporting PVC skin of hexagonal inflated tubes and cushions that form the front-of-house and back-of-house spaces. The specified fire resistant PVC fabric is durable and 100% recyclable.

An extremely efficient ‘bicycle wheel’ truss provides lateral stability for the project and full or partial coverage of the performance space. Supported by standard aluminum staging components this structure is also lightweight and recyclable. Optional mesh or solid pvc covers would provide shade in hot dry climates or rain protection in wet ones. The central oculus can also be covered with an inflatable cap. Water tank foundations remove the need to transport heavy weights. The entire project can be transported in 30 standard 40’ containers (20 if roof is omitted). The structure requires 2 weeks for assembly and one week for disassembly. This estimate is conservative, but represents an extremely low shipping volume for a structure of this size.

Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel

The National Rail Administration of Norway were awarded the Oslo Package 3 funds for construction of a bicycle hotel at Lillestrøm station. ROM Eiendom AS, on behalf of the administration has engaged Various Architects to design the new project.
Lillestrøm Train Station is one of the the largest and most important stations in the Greater Oslo, and also plays key role as Airport Express Station. Skedsmo municipality is in the process of gearing up its cycle network in the city center, and it is so important that the National Rail facilitates safe and functional bicycle parking at the station.

The design focuses on creating  positive contribution to the surroundings , so that there is an element of public benefit. This is achieved by creating a spectacular green roof  open to the public. The roof connects the project to the nearby train station plaza. The whole hotel glows at night, making it the ideal spot for anyone to enjoy a quiet moment overlooking the city’s clear night sky.


Various Architects has been commissioned by Nielsen Project to design the renovation of the office building the housed one of the oldest cinema in Oslo. The building is named after the cinema it housed, Olympia kino. The project is a result of the a collaborative design process with the client.

The main concept is to bring back some of the historical qualities of the building in a modern way. The design focuses on the office building by creating a generous foyer in the middle of the building, sacrificing valuable commercial areas to provide special experience in such a dense area in Oslo center. This experience is enhanced by developing a green garden in the backyard and connecting the foyer to garden on different levels. The choice of material and patterns has been inspired by the original building using natural materials such as stone, copper and wood. We received positive critique from the Cultural Heritage Office for our design the focuses on renovating the facade to it´s original design and putting emphasis on universal access.

Lodalen Administration Building

ROM Eiendom AS engaged Various Architects to design the development of a historical building in Lodalen, Oslo. This administration building lies in a locomotive industrial zone with quite unique proportions, 8 meters wide and 205 meters long.

The design is a result of a collaborative process with the client, ROM Eiendom AS and the tenant, CargoNet. To convert this historical building into functional office spaces we created extroverted building structures on that compliments the long historical facade. This allows for creating exciting interior spaces and enhance the daylight qualities for the building. In order to creating universal access design, we added a new elevator connecting all floors. The design of the new main entrance and elevator has been inspired by existing elements in the facades, creating a new landmark tower with a trademark railway clock on top.

The Cultural Heritage Management in Oslo have been positive to our design proposal, and gave the following feedback: «… It is possible to combine historical restoration with modern office spaces. Both the size of the building and the robust architecture allows us to recommend this design strategy. We also understand the need for such design to be able to raise the qualities of the office spaces.”

CK 32 Office Building

Various Architects is working on the refurbishment of Christian Kroghs gate 32 in downtown Oslo. The building will be reburbished in its totality for new office tenants and includes facade upgrade, new lifts and ventilation system, refurbishment of office floors as well as the shared indoors courtyard.

The building is from the 1930s and has a clean and clear modernist character where it rests on the Akerselva riverfront. As it is a listed building the renovation will include collaboration with the Oslo Conservation Office. We look forward to new dialogues with them and will lend experience from our successful renovation of Olympiagården.