The key notion of the architectural strategy is the location’s natural features and the use of a limited material palette. The project is situated in an old rural landscape and special attention is paid to integrate it into its surroundings. The design is based on simple geometrical prisms, lines and slabs composed into a complex lay-out of rooms and functions. Critical functions and lines of communication are emphasized and the building expresses a balance of functional efficiency and open perspectives.
Completed in 2006 the HiØ is a building of national and regional importance. Situated between Oslo and Sweden this University building is a melting pot for many cultures and people. From early in the competition stages RRA approached this project creating a landscape and cityscape strategy. The project was developed as more than a response to the program, new functions and spaces where ingeniously designed into the buildings, expanding the dimension of the project beyond that of mere architecture. More than 900 rooms are organized around common spaces, small “forums” or “agoras”, reminders of what a University Life is all about. Informal meeting spaces, debating arenas, and areas of personal exploration punctuate all the buildings. Boxes hang from the ceiling defying the laws of physics, light pours in from sky lights and from the continuous glazed façade inviting one out onto the Library’s roof terrace. The Roof of the Library is the main exterior meeting space, a main square, a plaza, for the Campus, an extension of the College’s functions to the landscape, a clear reference to the preoccupations that RRA has in dealing with the existing context, buildings (city) and landscape.