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Oslo Airport: A building for Norway to be proud of

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According to the architects responsible for the expansion of Norway’s main airport, Norway now has a prominent, new building to be proud of.
“The simplicity, the short walking distances, the light and airy room progressions and the Nordic materials all make Oslo Airport measure up to the leading airports in the world,” says Gudmund Stokke, Architect MNAL, Principal Partner and Chairman of Nordic — Office of Architecture.
He has been part of the process going back to before the Gardermoen airport was built in 1998, and thinks the architectural mark of the existing terminal has been successfully continued.
“The new pier is, like the main building, held up by laminated wood constructions and concrete columns. The interior is recognisable and modernised, with a large presence of natural materials and solid, flexible solutions”, Stokke explains. He continues:
“The transition towards the existing terminal building was considered especially important, both on a superior conceptual level as well as in the development of the final design. Our idea was that the main building should be seen as the dominant element from afar, the intake of daylight had to be maintained, and the transition between the new and the old parts should come across as simple, pure and undramatic.”
Functionality is key
As the developer, Avinor have been very happy cooperating with Nordic, and Managing Director of Oslo Airport, Øyvind Hasaas, has no doubt that Norway’s main airport is now aesthetically and functionally at the top of its class.
“We have put great emphasis on functionality, design and architecture. The airport must be perceived as functional and accommodating to all visitors, and it should also be a building for Norway to be proud of. As the major traffic hub in this country, we are responsible for making the journey as pleasant as possible for all travellers, and we now believe we are equipped to compete with the top airports in Europe”, says Hasaas.
Nordic expression
It has also been important to maintain a Nordic expression in the construction of the airport. When you arrive at Oslo Airport, there should be no doubt of which country you are in.
“During the planning phase of the expansion, it was important to consider that the airport is the traveller’s first, or last, impression of Oslo, the region, the country and Scandinavia. We believe we have strengthened this aspect, both in the construction and the design”, says Stokke.
In March 2011, the Avinor board of directors made the resolution to proceed with construction. Since then, it has been a constructive and demanding journey, in which both Avinor and Nordic have been closely involved in all decisions.
“Avinor is an inspirational employer with high demands to quality, ability to execute and cost management. They invite the project management, engineers and architects to work as a team and make each other better”, says Stokke.
Punctual building period
The Managing Director is particularly proud that operations at the country’s main airport have been running smoothly while such a large building project has been in progress.
“During the course of the building period, we have been named Europe’s most punctual airport three times. This is quite an accomplishment, and I want to thank Nordic and all our other collaborators. We are very happy with the work that has been carried out. For us in Avinor, the real job begins now, when more than 80,000 passengers will be evaluating us every day”, concludes Hasaas.

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