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Oslo Airport – WAN Awards

The world’s greenest terminal launched at Oslo Airport in 2017, setting a new standard in sustainability. Designed by Oslo-based practice Nordic-Office of Architecture, assisted by NSW, the 115,000 sqm expansion to the airport doubles the size of the existing terminal building. The building’s green potential was recently recognised with a WAN Award nomination in the ‘Sustainable Buildings 2017’ category.

Oslo Airport

The design, which uses snow as a coolant, has achieved the world’s first BREEAM ‘Excellent’ sustainability rating for an airport building. Nordic continued the timeless architectural expression and rational simplicity of the original airport – which the practice designed in 1998 – whilst introducing new design elements to enhance the passenger experience. Nordic also updated the existing train station, which sits at the heart of the airport enabling 70% of all passengers to access the airport by public transport.

Nordic’s design increases the airport capacity from 19 million to an anticipated future capacity of 30 million. Passenger flow was also improved with a maximum walking distance of just 450m, far shorter than most airports.

The multi-disciplinary design team applied a holistic approach to sustainability, including the harvesting of as much on-site energy as possible. Snow from the runways is collected and stored during wintertime in an on-site depot to be used as coolant during the summer. Natural materials have been used throughout the building. A new, 300m long pier is entirely clad in timber sourced from Scandinavian forests. Recycled steel and special, environmentally friendly, concrete mixed with volcanic ash has been used throughout. By choosing environmentally friendly materials, the building’s CO2 emissions were reduced by 35%.

Enhanced levels of insulation mean the project has achieved Passive House level performance standards. Energy consumption in the new expansion has been cut by more than 50% compared to the existing terminal.

Alongside the drive for high sustainability levels, passenger comfort and well-being were also crucial. Artificial lighting is designed only as a minimal supplement to high levels of natural daylight, and can be set to reflect different moods according to weather, season and time of day. The compact layout of the building, transparency and open spaces enhances visual legibility and wayfinding, providing reassurance and peace of mind for travellers. A panoramic window at the north end of the pier, a 300-metre long skylight and curved glazed windows on both sides open up the view to the surrounding landscape and beyond.

Gudmund Stokke, Founder and Head of design at Nordic-Office of Architecture, commented:

“We are delighted to have delivered a project which not only develops Oslo Airport’s distinctive architecture, but one which also provides a greatly enhanced experience for passengers.”

Dag-Falk Petersen, CEO of AVINOR, commented:

“Oslo Airport is now more spacious, more efficient and more comfortable for the passengers. The expansion project was delivered on time and under budget by the design team.”

Oslo Airport

Nordic-Office of Architecture

Nordic-Office of Architecture is an architecture practice headquartered in Oslo with offices in London and Copenhagen. The practice works globally and has over 35 years’ experience working across a range of technically complex projects.

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