By Thor Olav Solbjør, chief executive officer of SAAHA
Bjergsted Financial Park in Stavanger, Norway, is the new head office for SRBank located in the centre of the city.
*ALL PHOTOS BY SINDRE ELLINGSEN; SCHEMATICS HELEN & HARD / SAAHA
To build a large-scale bank in timber challenges the notion of a strong, robust bank, while at the same time is breaking ground for the use of structural timber. The main structure of the 13 200m2 above ground section of seven storeys, is made solely of timber.
CONNECTING WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS
Bjergsted Financial Park opens up towards the town and creates a generous connection between the building and its surroundings. A small park is established in relation to the entrance, creating a transition to the traditional surrounding small-scale timber housing.
Towards the east, the building expresses a more urban character; the elongated, calm façade gradually develops in height along the street. Here, the building creates a sheltered walkway along the street, which also houses a bus stop.
The plan layout of the building is organised around an atrium which brings light, air and green qualities into the building. Various and informal meeting places are oriented towards the atrium. These act as a buffer towards quiet workspaces, mainly placed along the exterior façade of the building.
The building’s volume has a sharp triangular shape to the exterior, articulated also through vertical glass fins for sun shading. In contrast, the atrium has organically shaped galleries of timber forming a spectacular open stairway where they come together.
TIMBER AND SUSTAINABILITY
From early on the client was clear in their wish to use timber for the main structure, mostly due to its positive effects on the users; the experiential and health-bringing qualities of the future workspaces.
This was further backed by timber’s innate sustainable aspects providing ground for a BREEAM-NOR Excellent certification (administered by the Norwegian Green Building Council). The building’s lifecycle is prolonged by its ability to house flexible spaces made by multiplying and subdividing the 5.4m structural grid.
The timber structure is reinforced by visible timber joints with beech dowels and a continuous edge beam in laminated beech veneer on each floor along the façade. On the first storey, columns and beams are also made in laminated beech due to the cantilever over the pavement.
The remainder of the structure is made from Glued laminated timber and Cross-Laminated Timber in spruce. Curved in two directions, the loadbearing stair stringers support a spectacular open stairway, cantilevering five meters into the atrium.
The use of different kinds of timber used in very different structural elements creates variations within a similar aesthetical language. It is all woven together into a holistic organic experience in timber.
LIST OF PROFESSIONALS
|Client||:||Finansparken Bjergsted AS|
|Tenant||:||Sparebank 1 S R- Bank|
|ARK||:||Helen & Hard, SAAHA|
|RIB||:||Degree of Freedom|
|Tree Advisor||:||Hermann Blümer|
|March 2014||Competition phase|
|January 2015||Sketch/design phase|
|August 2015||Initial phase|
|May 2016||Detail phase|
|November 2016||Building phase started|
|May 2018||Concrete construction phase completed|
|January 2020||Wooden structure construction phase completed|
|July 2019||Faces/ Façade installation completed|
|November 2019||Project completed|