Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel

Norway has set ambitious targets for environmental and sustainable future. An increasing number of railway stations will now have a bicycle hotel, to promote the use of bicycles. On Monday 10 October 2016 the Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel opened in Lillestrøm. The city that has been frequently voted Norway´s best cycling city.
Commissioned by ROM Eiendom AS and The Norwegian National Railways, the design of the building focuses on making a positive contribution to the surroundings. The project gives back to the city the area it takes away by providing a public green rooftop, which directly connects to the main square of the Train Station.
Design Concept
A free form wooden roof resting on a glass box.
The glass box consists of transparent glass walls and a playful concrete base that protects the building against the surrounding heavy traffic. The transparent glass walls allow natural light to filter through during the day and transform the building into a glowing box at night, providing a special visual experience. The mood of the building keeps changing from day to night.
The dynamic wooden roof that lays on top of the glass box, slopes diagonally down to the west towards the train station plaza. This gesture provides an inviting public access to the top. The roof is conformed by furnishing, vegetation, stairs and slopes. This creates a unique experience with a panoramic view towards Lillestrøm. The glass walls continue over the roof, turning into the balustrade around the public area. The roof also penetrates through the walls to frame the entrance and to provide a shelter against rain.
Together the glass box and the roof create an intimate yet open and accessible public space. The interior space focuses on the function of the building with light and natural surfaces. The double story bicycle rack becomes the main element in the space. The room height varies from 2.70 m to 6.00 m following to the curvature of the roof.


Villa Faun

Various Architects has been commissioned to design an apartment complex, located in the Northwest hill side of Oslo, Norway, with a great view over the city and to the Oslo Fjord. The neighbourhood is characterised by various types of Norwegian houses built during the last 100 years.

The main intention for Villa Faun was to bring together a unifying identity to the project, while creating individual and private units. The building is placed on the site and oriented with an angle to frame views and natural daylight for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Villa Faun has a basic pitched-roof house shape, that is developed according to the functions and surroundings. The roof, together with Northern and Southern facades create a massive wooden envelope. The other two facades contrast with the envelope in form, material and colour. These facades are characterised with playful extrusions and intrusions that give individual identity to each unit.

This playfulness breaks down the scale of the facades and creates a dynamic form, while the clear wooden envelope balances the overall expression. Therefor Villa Faun appears both calm and playful. The architecture has a unique character and at the same time it fits with the surrounding context in harmony with traditional neighbouring villas.

Due to the sloping terrain, The volumes are designed with split-levels, so that both apartments on the ground floor could get straight into the garden.The split level also allows extra height for the upper apartments which provides generous spaces. The pitched-roof has an asymmetrical shape that works well the split level design and allows for additional height. Hence the possibility to create an extra mezzanine floor within building height regulations. The car parking is located in an underground garage, to maximise green areas and create more enjoyable outdoor spaces.

The massive wooden envelope is visible in the interior and is integrated with various functions, including fire places, kitchen units and ventilation in addition to built-in benches and deep window frames.

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.”


Design proposal for a mixed-use project in Geilo, in the valley of Hallingdal. Geilo is first and foremost a ski resort, but also offers summer activities. The site  is located on the main road of the city and offers a 360 view panorama.

The task was to develop apartments that skiers could rent when visiting Geilo along with building amenities and additional program such as restaurants, shops and playgrounds.

Our main intention was to break down the scale to fit into the village context. We separated the programme adding a base which roof’s acts as a public platform and laid on top of it the housing volumes. These volumes have the same measurements and have either an individual pitched roof or half of one.

Some of the volumes are shifted to the front or to the back to create terraces for the apartments and allow side windows for bedrooms. It was important to maintain a collective feeling and at the same time give the users privacy in their apartments. Bedrooms are placed on the north facade with smaller openings and away from the highway. Living rooms and kitchens are oriented to the south, to get more light in and enjoy full openings towards the mountains.



Mesterfjellet School

Various Architects, together with CEBRA Arkitekter and Østengen & Bergo Landskapsarkitekter won an invited competition to design a new 1st to 10th grade school in Larvik, Norway.
New Mesterfjellet School and Family Center combines contemprary pedagogical theory with varied teaching environments, passivhaus level energy efficiency and excellent indoor climate in a 5-story school on an urban site in Larvik. The School creates a framework for a living and a multifaceted educational universe with great spatial variation that supports the schools varying functions. An arena for learning, a workplace, and a social meeting place.
By upending the diagram of a typical atrium school, the introverted central space with roof-light is transformed into an extroverted central space with generous daylight and views to the playground outside. The common school functions which are typically arranged on the ground floor are now also spread vertically throughout the building. This transparent and unusual organisation combines the best qualities from traditional compact atrium schools and more spread out «finger» schools.
The vertical central space is the heart of the building and functions as a fulcrum for student activities. The landmark magenta stairway spirals up throughout the space to create an inviting and exciting path for the students. The compact plan gives short internal distances from classrooms to special functions on every floor, creating a synergi effect that allows students to meet and interact regardless of their age or cohort. Themed internal «squares» on each floor relate to the specialized teaching spaces nearby. Smaller, more intimate gathering areas are also provided within each floor, with seating niches on top of book lockers, or larger «storytelling» spaces in the north-east corner. This combination of spaces provides for great spatial variation allowing individuals or groups to find their own spaces for study or soscialisation. Artist Frida Fjellman has contributed a series of large plexiglass crystals to the central space.
The central open space is clad with perforated wooden panels that provide sound absorbtion and ensure an optimal acoustical response. The perforations of the panels are decorated with pedagogical and aesthetical elements made from holes of varying sizes. Three motives tell stories that are related to the special rooms behind them. The motive-walls weave images from scientific history, nordic mythology and musical elements together into an open narrative that students can explore and discover over time. New details can be interpreted and understood differently as they develop throughtout their tenure at the school.


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.

Duplex Apartments B13

Various Architects is commission do design the refurbishment of a historical apartments building in the center of Oslo, Norway. The building, from the 19th century is well preserved and has undergone a successful renovation of the facades.

The project consists of renovation of the top 2 floors including the attic, to create 10 new appartments. Our design concept focuses on maximum utility of the existing space and creating apartment with unique qualities highlighting the historical value of the building. Instead of creating separate apartments on each floor we designed duplex apartments to minimise egress corridors and to create a flow between the spaces on different floors. In addition we lifted parts of the roof to allow for natural day lighting to flow through the higher living spaces.