What is currently a parking lot will soon be a vibrant new urban district in the heart of Trondheim thanks to the plans of Henning Larsen Architects. The Danish firm was recently awarded first prize for a mixed-use office building and plaza that will help serve as an example of sustainable building in Norway. The ‘Leüthens Kulturhage’ or ‘Leüthen’s Cultural Garden’ includes a low-rise office complex, cultural spaces, and an adjacent public plaza that will help increase connectivity to educational and cultural institutions located nearby. Daylighting and sustainable architecture sit at the heart of the design, which will help guide the development of green public buildings.
Henning Larsen based their design on Johan Caspar von Cicignon’s masterplan for Trondheim and scaled the office building to match the surrounding city and historical context. The jurors were looking for a proposal that would be inspiring, dynamic, and unifying while closely interacting with the exterior. They also sought a building with a clear and flexible layout, a simple and buildable structure with a distinctive identity and a flexible space that could be altered in necessary. The jurors unanimously selected the Henning Larsen proposal because it met their criteria and improved upon their needs with sustainable design and a welcoming layout. The project will feature 39,000 sq meters of space housing office spaces for Trondheim City, meeting facilities for local cultural organizations, Trondheim Kino (cinema), an underground car park, a bus terminal and a public square.
The building is characterized by a series of square volumes that encircle a central atrium. To one side is a large public plaza that has a close and integrated connection with the interior though a glazed facade. Natural daylighting plays a huge role in the design of the office complex, which improves the working conditions and encourages activity. Terraces and balconies are interspersed throughout the design to encourage meetings and dialogue. The building will be constructed out of a simple palette of natural materials and is expected to be complete in 2015. Henning Larsen is working in collaboration with landscape architect, Gullik Gulliksen.
Images © Henning Larsen Architects