Sky-high environmental ambitions for the redevelopment of Skur 38

To set a gold standard for environmental ambitions in the modernization of old buildings. That is the architectural challenge when the office building Skur 38 is to be renovated.

Located right by Akershus Fortress and the Oslo Fjord, a new sustainable hub of activity is set to emerge as an old office and warehouse space undergoes a transformation. Currently housing the main office of Oslo Port, the building will soon accommodate both subsidiary companies and several others in a refurbished structure. Hille Melbye Architects have been tasked by Varden Entrepreneurs to create modern and flexible office spaces while simultaneously setting a gold standard for environmental ambitions in the modernization of older buildings. Kristin Jarmund Architects have completed a preliminary project for the building, but it is now Hille Melbye who will take over and be responsible for detailed planning and project implementation.

“We chose Hille Melbye partly because of their broad expertise in sustainability and management of interdisciplinary collaboration in complex projects. We want to work with someone who is willing to learn along the way, and Hille Melbye has shown great commitment and drive, which is exactly what we were looking for,” says project manager Vegard Mørk Matre at Varden Entrepreneurs.

SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION: Old Skur 38 is set to receive a new office life while simultaneously setting the gold standard for sustainable renovation from old to new. Photo: Katrine Lunke.

Fired up by ambitious environmental profile

“The extremely ambitious environmental profile got us fired up on all cylinders. This is a challenge we feel very well-equipped to contribute to solving,” says architect and project manager Magnus Sandberg Johansen at Hille Melbye.

The renovation is guaranteed to be anything but plain sailing when old materials are to be reused, and all internal and external standards must meet the strictest environmental requirements in the industry.

“The environmental goals include achieving Breeam Excellent Certification, meeting Futurebuilt’s criteria for circular buildings and social sustainability, extensive reuse of materials, and certification for health-promoting interiors,” Sandberg Johansen explains.

Office space to have a raw, open warehouse feel

The level of ambition is also high when it comes to executing the renovation project.

“The combination of an older building stock, high environmental ambitions, strict heritage guidelines, and focus on high project pace and flow makes Skur 38 an unusually exciting project,” says Sandberg Johansen.

The project work associated with the building on the dock area by the Oslo Fjord kicks off in January 2021, with the aim of completion by the end of the year. Hille Melbye believes that both the execution and the final result could be something out of the ordinary.

“The vision of a modern office building that also feels like a ‘raw, open warehouse’ hits us right in the heart,” Sandberg Johansen concludes.

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