As a result of a competition to revitalize Oslo’s historical, decommissioned airport, the Bærum municipality will be getting a new school and cultural center.
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The winning bid was submitted by Haptic Architects and PIR2, standing out against dozens of other proposals, including a short list of big hitters in the industry. Known as Tårnkvartalet, the complex will house a secondary school for 900 students alongside community spaces such as a community center, theater, sports complex, library, health clinic and skate park. It will also include workshops and restaurants.
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The architectural design for the cultural center incorporates stepped brick and timber for environmental and aesthetic reasons. With a population set to grow to 25,000, Tårnkvartalet aims to meet the needs of the expanding community while maintaining cultural ties. Inasmuch, the modular design allows for reconfiguration as the need arises. Where natural light is prevalent in the upper levels, the building will rely on glazed facades for energy efficiency and to deflect light from the nearby air traffic control tower.
Additionally, it aligns with the goals to act sustainably and respect the aviation heritage of the site as Norway’s first airport. Thereby, the team plans to revamp the 1940s hangars into workshop stations, artist studios and TV production facilities. Additional spaces will embrace an amphitheater, park, and green space.
The design team leaned into Norway’s established environmental standards by meeting the outlined FutureBuilt criteria for school design. As a result, construction materials will include recycled brick and sustainably-sourced wood in an interconnected design that creates classrooms and teaching areas which directly engage with the outdoor landscape.
“This piece of city regeneration represents a bold and progressive investment in education and culture to spearhead the placemaking process,” remarked Scott Doig, design director of Haptic Oslo. “We have enjoyed responding to this aspirational brief, and the unique historical heritage of the site.”
The development is expected to open to the public and students in August 2027.
Images via Haptic, PIR2 and AestheticaStudio