Architecture: Snøhetta, Oslo Electrical planning: Bravida Norge AS, Oslo
For the architectural bureau Snøhetta, an iceberg served as the inspiration for the Opera House in Oslo. Located directly on the harbour side, it looks as if it is rising up straight out of the cold, clear water of the Oslo Fjord. The finely nuanced materials chosen underpin the stunning design and eccentric lines of the cultural centre.
One of its special features is the walkable roof with an area of almost 40,000 square metres. This facility turns this centre of high culture into a public space which can be used by passers-by – a totally democratic approach.
A giant ramp made of Carrara marble with numerous openings rises to create a construct whose presence is huge but at the same time delicate and apparently weightless in character. This impression is partly a result of the very special choice of materials: the architects had the stage tower clad entirely in aluminium. The gently shimmering structured material reflects the daylight and lends the building a unique light gracefulness.
A place where more would be less: The free-standing communication pedestals in brushed stainless steel leave the delicate building envelope intact. Their minimized language of form helps to reserve the special identity of the facade.
Communication pedestal from the Siedle Steel design line, with video camera, door loudspeaker, digital code lock, call button and second call button for wheelchair users at an adequate mounting height.
The underlying concept behind the design was to create a freely accessible roof landscape to be used as new public urban space. With this concept, Snøhetta was selected from another 200 contenders competing for the contract.
Snøhetta cooperated with a number of artists in the implementation of the project. The surfaces of the building complex were designed by Kristian Blystad, Kalle Grude and Jorunn Sannes to create a playful interaction of smooth, rough and structured surfaces. The Danish designer Olafur Eliasson created light boxes for the foyer, also a publicly accessible space.
All the systems of the Siedle Steel design line are planned and configured by Siedle individually as one-off pieces. This allows them to be adapted to the individual building situation and the specific requirements imposed on their functionality.
In the Opera House in Oslo, these requirements encompassed primarily a barrier-free design of the building communication system and integration of an access control system from a different supplier.
Barrier-free access: The button for wheelchair users is located to allow operation also from a sitting position. Pressing the button activates the Doormatic function which automatically releases access to the building.