Aluminum-Clad Blocks Make Statoil HQ Weather-Tight, Energy-Efficient
The design of Statoil's dramatic new aluminum-clad headquarters building in Fornebu, Norway was reportedly inspired by the classic kids' game of pick-up sticks.
The building, which last year earned Best Commercial Building prize at the World Architecture News Awards, features five aluminum-clad blocks stacked in a seemingly random fashionone on top of the other.
A closer look, however, reveals a method to the apparent chaos.
Located in a park, the arrangement of the blocks is designed to minimize the footprint of the 700,000-square-foot building and its encroachment on the surrounding parkland. Each block sits three stories high and is oriented to take in a different view of the park and nearby fiordoffering Statoil's 2,500 employees a stimulating work environment.
The building blocks are centered around a climate-controlled atrium, served by an aluminum stair tower, which is intended as a common area to foster interaction and innovation among workers.
Beyond its fetching looks, the building's aluminum envelope contributes greatly to its overall energy efficiency. The powder-coated aluminum sandwich panels provide a weather-tight enclosure that collectively acts as a rain screen, while the blocks' gabled ends incorporate gray solar shading glassthe net effect of which is to minimize energy loss while optimizing solar heat gain and daylighting.
According to architects A-Lab, the building will consume 103 kWh/square meter annuallygood for an energy class B rating.
Interestingly, the vast majority of the building, including the superstructure, facades, and glazed structures, was prefabricated off-site. This method of construction allowed for the designers to meet extremely high tolerances while keeping on-site construction time and expenses in check.