The unique expressiveness of the appearance, efficiency and functionality are the main principles when designing a new building for the fire station in Oslo, made by architects and engineers of the Institute of Contemporary Construction Technologies.
The idea of the appearance of the building of the fire station is presented in reflection of the struggle of two elements: fire and water. Panoramic glazing and broken curves of the roof personify water, which, like a wave, covers brick walls in the form of tongues of flame.
The theme of the struggle of the elements and the victory of water is very symbolic for the fire station. The building itself is located on an open area near the embankment, between predominantly industrial and public buildings. Its facade along an unnamed street is oriented towards classical buildings and is designed in the classical style to avoid dissonance. From different sides, the building looks different: from the water side – the flexibility of the facades, stained glass and complex modern roof lines, from the street – brickwork. From the point of view of architectural solutions, this combination of tradition and modernity blends perfectly with the surrounding space.
Having retained its main function, the building is supposed to be used as a museum as well. Convenience, simplicity and thoughtful decisions formed the basis for the layout of the building. The core is a four-light hall with an atrium, in which there is a panoramic elevator and open stairs connecting all floors.
The main entrance is from Akershusstranda. Visitors entering the building can see service fire engines, as well as observe the work of rescuers through a glass partition that borders the main hall of the fire department. On the second floor of the hall, along the perimeter of the open space, there are exhibition samples that give an idea of the development of firefighting equipment.
When developing the project, a significant role was given to issues of energy efficiency and energy conservation. The building itself is planned in such a way that, taking into account its orientation to the cardinal points, the maximum stained glass glazing and the translucent roof, the maximum involvement of sunlight in the lighting of the premises is achieved.
In addition, solar panels are provided as part of the roof, generating approximately 30% of the electricity needed for the functioning of the building.
The provided geothermal wells using heat pumps use water of a stable temperature of the earth. Water circulates through pipes leaving the ground to extract or remove heat to efficiently heat and cool the building.
To maintain a comfortable and constant temperature inside the building, a radiant heating system is used to help stabilize the temperature. A heat recovery system captures and reuses 75% of the exhaust heat.
The part of the roof not occupied by solar panels is used as additional space for landscaping, and helps to reduce and filter water from precipitation. Stormwater management was critical, given the proximity to the Oslo Fjord Bay and the potential impact on marine life. Precipitation falling on the roof is sent for filtration to a bio-holding structure consisting of plants, soil and gravel.