Before steel, before concrete and before humans learned how to make a bunch of building materials that are ultimately bad for the environment, people built everything out of sustainable, renewable and natural materials. This SporX office building in Drammen, Norway, is bringing back sustainable design with this stunning all-timber office building. It’s 10 stories of incredible design that marries old building techniques with the dream of a sustainable future.
Developed by Vestaksen Eiendom AS, in collaboration with Betonmast Buskerud-Vestfold, Degree of Freedom, Rambøll, Zinc and DARK Arkitekter, this building is entirely constructed from timber. The two-part building body is connected by glass, creating an interlocking connection.
Related: Edwardian library in London receives a new wood pavilion
The base of the building has co-work areas, meeting meets, a restaurant and many double-high spaces. This creates varied spatial connections. Moreover, local timber was used. And where timber could not be used for the construction, environmentally-conscious materials were used instead. The ground floor has a cast concrete floor with recycled glass.
A large bike parking area is integrated into the design. Meanwhile, the Drammen station, which is right next door, makes it easy to access public transport from the building.
The interior space is laid out on a grid, which allows the floor plan to be easily changed. This makes the building adaptable and changeable so the design can grow as future needs reveal themselves.
So many architects avoid using timber because of fire safety concerns, particularly when it comes to urban environments. However, DARK Arkitekter worked with fire engineers and insulation manufacturers to come up with new ways to use insulation for fire safety. This has also allowed timber construction to be used in ways that were previously impossible.
In fact, you can see timber throughout the interior spaces. Warm wood instantly creates a rich atmosphere. with every floor and in every line, this building honors the natural world and provides a welcoming space for people.
This 10-story building is a beautiful example of what timber can do and how it can be used for sustainable, modern design to build a better tomorrow.
Images via Einar Aslaksen