Larvik Kulturhus & Moské

Various Architects was very excited to be commissioned to design the new and very first Culture House and Mosque in the city of Larvik in Norway. The client, Larvik Islamic Cultural Society, defined a varied program which should be open to be shared with the community and have visual qualities that would express the fusion with the Islamic background and the Norwegian context.


VA approached the task with great interest and the initial investigation included discussions about the sensitive matter of integration and the multi cultural society. Muslim practitioners, men and women, with Norwegian as well as foreign background, were invited to discuss the subject with the team to bring forward different perspectives.


The site is located a little outside the main city center, right in the middle of a smaller commercial and cultural hub. The team proposed to open up the site to the context to allow for neighbours to use the site and the exterior spaces as well as feeling welcomed to use the interior spaces. The program which included a prayer room, mosque, as well as a cultural house with seminar rooms and restaurant area, was decided to be split into two volumes to allow for greater approachability and the creation of a number of exterior spaces. There was a demand for some few days during the year to accomodate a larger number of parked cars, and the team wanted this space to be used for other purposes when the parking spaces were not in use. The solution was to include it as a covered exterior space which could be used for play or outdoors markets for the community.


Together with the client Various Architects presented the sketch design to a commity from the Larvik municipality and the project was received with great excitement. The commity praised the visual qualities, the inclusion of community activities and the openness of the project and saw it as contributing to a great improvement to the neighbourhood.

Status:Sketch design
Client:Larvik Islamske Kulturforening
Location:Larvik, Norway
Size:2 000 m2
Team: Alexander H. Berg, Birgitte J. Haug, Ibrahim Elhayawan, Isabell Adamofski, Israel Blasco Giménez

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