Project type: Faculty building
Name: Faculty of Fine Art, Music & Design
Location: University of Begren, Norway
As the academic year commences, so does a new era for the University of Bergen, which has scored a new Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design building, designed by Norwegian practice Snøhetta. Located in the Møllendal district, facing north towards the city and overlooking the Store Lungegårdsvannet bay, the building marks the incorporation of the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, the Grieg Academy and the Bergen University Department of Music, uniting previously scattered departments under one roof.
Programmed around a series of project halls, workshops, offices, communal and social spaces, the faculty serves 600 students across four floors and 14,800 sq m. It boasts a statement façade with irregularly placed window boxes, designed with the interior in mind: ‘We worked with the school to optimize light and create as much working wall space as possible – that’s the mechanical reason why it looks like it does,’ says Astrid Renata Van Veen, senior architect at Snøhetta.
The building is a three-dimensional canvas in the largest sense. The students’ work – the metalworking, plastering, firing, 3D-modelling, performing and painting – needed to be at the forefront, so interior materials, including grey vinyl floors, sanded and oiled raw steel panels and exposed concrete, prioritise durability. The atrium of the large Project Hall (52 x 24m) features a gantry crane to lever artworks to the upper levels.
Photography: Hufton + Crow. Writer: Harriet Thorpe