Kystens Hus, Tromsø, Norway

Kystens Hus, Tromsø, Norway

GRANITE ANCHOR

This new landmark facility offers a meeting space for diverse interest groups interested in the coastal region, and also seafood production. The permeable, fully glazed ground level is conceived as an extension of the public realm. The center’s upper part accommodates office spaces and is clad in a multi-faceted envelope reminis-cent of the rock formations lining the northern Norwegian coast.

 

We intended to shape a building with a unique expression that takes into account the existing qualities of the surrounding areas, but simultaneously defines a new gravitational center for the city.

Narud Stokke Wiig, architects

 

Located in the center of Tromsø, Kystens Hus—the “Coastal Seafood Center in Northern Norway”—is a flagship building showcasing the country’s powerful fishing industry. Envisaged as hub for information and business related to the fisheries, research and development, and tourism the facility’s primary purpose is to showcase the the city’s and the wider coastal region’s cultural tradition, natural wealth, and economic drive. More specifically, Kystens Hus seeks to promote the development and marketing of products and services by fostering collaboration and exchange of knowledge among private companies, research institutions, and the general public.

 

©Bent Raanes Sørensen

Informal meeting place

True to its public aspiration, the center features a permeable, extensively glazed, and partially double-height ground level, which links up with the surrounding sidewalks through a number of separate doorways as well as two main entrances located in opposite corners of the roughly rectangular plan. The resulting diagonal pathway connects a public square to the southwest of the building with a popular quay promenade to the north, dividing the ground floor itself into two interlocking triangular sections. Incorporating various auxiliary rooms and staircases, the open ground level is conceived as an informal meeting place facilitating a variety of simultaneous uses. In addition to a permanent food hall for local producers and specialty shops, the center offers an exhibition arena for organizations involved in research and education. The plan centers upon a large, light-flooded atrium, which features a sweeping staircase that extends the public space to the level above. Meeting the narrower business aspect of the facility, the four upper floors accommodate concentric layers of office spaces and conference rooms accessed by suspended skywalks that provide a visual connection to the ground-floor lobby.

 

©Bent Raanes Sørensen

Multi-faceted envelope

Oslo-based architects Narud Stokke Wiig sought to design a new gravitational center for the city, giving it a distinctive look without disrupting the formal unity of its surroundings. Substantially larger than the neighboring timber structures, the 12,500 square-meter facility obtains a certain lightness by seemingly hovering above the fully glazed lower section. More importantly, the irregular contours of the façade break the scale of the building whilst maximizing the inflow of natural light and offering spectacular views of the marina and the mainland area of the city. Clad in highly insulated, charcoal-colored Swisspearl panels, the envelope is composed of twenty-three faceted surfaces, allowing it to respond to the characteristic features of the urban context—exuberant on the waterfront, more restrained to the rear where the building helps to clarify the streetscape. Shape and coloring of the building recall the rugged granite cliffs of the Norwegian coast, reflecting the building’s core aspiration of providing a link between tradition and technology, past and future.

 

Key facts

Project
Kystens Hus, Tromsø, Norway

 

Photos
Bent Raanes Sørensen, Tromsø

 

Location
Stortorget 1, Tromsø, Norway

 

Client
Norges Råfisklaget – The Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organization

 

Architect
Narud Stokke Wiig, Oslo (Gudmund Stenseth, partner-in-charge)

 

Building period
2014 – 2015

 

General Contractor
Econor AS, Tromsø, Norway

 

Façade material
Swisspearl Carat Black Opal 7024R

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