Interaction in the city
The fire station in Bjørvika acts as a link and pivot point between the fjord and the fortress. The function of the house becomes an active element of the surrounding cityscape.
During the daytime, the animation of the house will be visible to passersby and be a target for visiting school classes, with activity in the front yard and in the garage. In the evening, the building will stand as a lantern in the park and testify to the vital role it plays within the city.
Sustainability and climate consciousness
Climate consciousness and sustainability have been key driving factors throughout the process with an aim to attain the BREEAM certification of ‘Outstanding’. Aspects like energy efficient construction systems, reuse and recycling of material, climate impact and flexibility were considered to achieve these ambitious goals. The compact plan in combination with system walls and a repetitive, rational construction system provides for changes of the fire station in the future and several possible functional and programmatic changes.
Compact and functional architecture
The fire station is a compact functional building over four levels. Focus on indoor light and air quality, livability and safety have helped shape the design outcome of the fire station. Solid wood structures, solid walls of system timbers and cork are exposed as much as possible to contribute with their properties of good acoustics and moisture control. Positive natural lighting conditions are provided for with adjustable sun shading and wide openable windows.
On the ground floor the garage, wardrobes and adjoining functions fill the area. The garage and emergency locker rooms are connected to the floors above via two staircases and fireman's poles into the hall.
On the second floor are offices and meeting rooms as well as storage and laundry rooms.
The third floor is the living and social zone of the house. Here you will find bedrooms, wardrobes, the gym, living room and kitchen as well as an outdoor terrace facing the fjord towards the east. The entire floor has an enclosing cantilever that screens it from sun and noise, while bringing privacy to the living rooms and providing shelter for pedestrians at the ground level.
Solid wood throughout the fire station
As the site was quite tight and stands over the Opera tunnel, the technical and structural challenges were numerous and were resolved with several different timber technologies being proposed throughout the fire station. Solid wood in the walls, facades and roof make up majority of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The construction is prefabricated to reduce waste, ensure high quality and minimize construction time, while the low weight of the wood reduces the quantity of foundation and its impact on the Opera tunnel below.