Oslo Skatehall by DARK Arkitekter | THE PLAN
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Oslo Skatehall

DARK Arkitekter

Oslo Skatehall by DARK Arkitekter | THE PLAN
By DARK Arkitekter -

In January 2017, 28 years after the ban on skateboarding in Norway was lifted, Oslo finally got its own venue for this today well-established sport, which now stands as the best custom-designed skate park, and one of the largest of its kind in northern Europe. Constructed in accordance with Passive House standards, with a focus on recycled materials, life-cycle costs (LCC), air circulation and sustainable energy sources, the architectural signature of the building is conceptually rooted in the elements and movement of skateboarding, thus exposing the hall’s function. Through a collaborative approach and Building Information Modelling (BIM), the architects at DARK Arkitekter and all figures involved in the project, including the final users, achieved the best solutions to the challenges that arose during the planning and construction process. Two distinct and contrasting volumes - one light and one dark, which share the same architectonic language - dominate the structure. These two structural elements form cantilevers, inclined in opposite directions to the underlying terrain. Raised in the east and west, they create dynamic diagonal lines in the landscape. Each cantilever has broad borders of golden metal sheeting, accentuating the dramatic forms and providing frames to the large, glass panels. Visual contact between interior and exterior is maintained through these glass façades, presenting a tantalizing impression of the building from a distance. The connection between interior and exterior space, coupled with good legibility in the layout, create a sense of security, clarity and order. The spacious dimensions of the hall give participants and spectators full access to the activities, which can even be observed from the café. The skate hall is situated in a prime location, surrounded by large outdoor recreational areas in Voldsløkka in Sagene district. The main entrance faces west and leads directly into the lobby and café, which are clearly visible through the glass façade. The huge cantilevered elements create a natural shelter over the entrance and outdoor seating area. In the summer months, the café opens up to this outside space and invites you to sit in the sun at tables or in the concrete amphitheater set into the hillside beyond. To the east of the building, a terraced skate park connects the different levels of the terrain, linking the concrete park at the base to Voldsløkka’s prime walking path at the top. When the gates and doors are opened, the interior and exterior skating spaces become fully connected. This distinctive feature of the building creates unique possibilities for major events and competitions. The dramatic lines of the structure are echoed in the outside facilities, which respond to the landscape, connecting with the wider spaces of the recreational area. Oslo Skatehall is primarily intended for general use but boasts an international standard suited to major competitions. Inside, the hall consists of two tall stories, where the programs are adapted to the functions of skating. Variation and flow are guiding design principles in the complex layout. Input from skaters themselves has assisted the architects in finding the best solutions for infrastructure and design. The main skating activity is situated on the lower level, which features a high ceiling giving ample space to custom-built skating elements. A unique feature of Oslo Skatehall is the raised bowl, constructed in wooden materials. The structural elements of this burgeoning organic form can also be viewed from underneath. On the upper level, a separate viewing gallery spans the entire length of the hall, allowing spectators a clear overview of skating activities below. Visitors can play TV games, watch YouTube clips and edit films in the combined activity and media room. This space can also be used to hold seminars or host visits from kindergartens and schools. There is a raw honesty to the materials selected, which creates variation in the surfaces and structures. Perforated aluminum sheeting in dark and light nuances covers the façades, ornamented with a surface pattern of Morse code symbols. These are a literal transcription of the 1978 law forbidding the use, sale and advertising of skateboards, the history of skateboarding in Norway.

Location: Oslo, Norway
Client: Culture and Sports Building Oslo KF
Completion Date: 2017
Gross Floor Area: 2,300 m2
Architect and Interior Design: DARK Arkitekter
Main Contractor: Varden Entreprenør

Arena Fit Out: Glifberg+Lykke, IOU Ramps
Acoustics, Sustainability and Landscape: Rambøll 
Landscape: Landskapsfabrikken
Geotechnics: Bjørnstad Design
Electrical: Frank Wickstrøm, Sweco
Plumbing: Haaland Klima, Eriksen & Jensen, DeltaTek
Fire System: High Finseth
Building Physics: Hjellnes Consult

Photography: © Finn Ståle Felberg, Lars Gartå, courtesy of DARK Arkitekter

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