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.

The head-on street view of Bjergsted Financial Park on Stavanger, Norway.

The head-on street view of Bjergsted Financial Park on Stavanger, Norway.

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.

3 500 beech wood joggles were used in the project.

3 500 beech wood joggles were used in the project.


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 experience as you enter the building.

The experience as you enter the building.


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.


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 interior finish of the 7th floor of the building – a beautiful view.

The interior finish of the 7th floor of the building – a beautiful view.

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.


Client : Finansparken Bjergsted AS
Tenant : Sparebank 1 S R- Bank
ARK : Helen & Hard, SAAHA
RIB : Degree of Freedom
Tree Advisor : Hermann Blümer
Façade : Rubicon
Contractors : Veidekke
Interior : Lark
Landscape : Asplan Viak


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