Snøhetta’s recently completed National Academy of the Arts in Bergen is wrapped in an innovative prefab façade made of raw aluminum elements. The new facility is built to withstand the rainy climate of the Norwegian west coast and offer a durable, robust space where KMD’s 350 art and design students can learn and collaborate under one roof.
The building replaces the former Bergen Academy of Art & Design (KHiB) and assembles the previously scattered faculty buildings under one roof. It has two main axes–one internal, dedicated to students and staff, and one external, open to the public.
The most prominent features of the building are in the large project hall situated at the point where the two axes cross. The entrance is connected to a large outdoor plaza which makes the building inviting and engaged in a dialogue with Bergen’s city center.
Prefab raw aluminum elements clad the building’s exterior, with 900 varied sized seawater-durable crude aluminum elements protruding from the wall at varying distances. Large cantilevered box-shaped windows punctuate the rhythm of the metal surface. The crude aluminum surfaces can withstand the rainy coastal climate and will gradually weather and oxidize, heightening the variations in colors and textures.
Lead photo by Trond Isaksen