“At the start, we were afraid of being criticized for being too attention grabbing,” says Advisor Erik Sandnes about the quality that characterizes the head office, which was taken into use by the applied ecological research institute NINA in 2013. Today, people come up here in search of inspiration for projects based elsewhere, while the locals pay a visit to eat in the canteen.


When the private foundation “Norwegian Institute for Nature Research” (NINA) launched an architectural competition for a new head office, the wish was for a remarkable and contemporary building that sent out a positive and clear architectural message. References should be made to NINA’s key business area – ecological research. Norwegian Pir II came up with the solution, which today attracts far more visitors to the place than just its employees. DESIGNED AROUND THE NORWEGIAN LANDSCAPE The building stands on concrete foundations, formed to resemble a glacier. Here is where the building’s shared facilities can be found – reception, canteen and meeting room. Above them, the building’s four remaining floors rise upwards from its foundations with wooden facades and glass partitions in a varied rhythm, making the building appear alive, lightweight and filled with sunlight, yet also firm and resilient – like a light shining in a forest. A MEETING BETWEEN PEOPLE It’s through the meeting between people, that knowledge is exchanged and ideas developed. This fact was so intrinsic to the concept of the building that its owner, NINA, treated the development of the shared facilities as an independent project, which Pir II were also responsible for. The architects made no compromises on quality in their proposals; NINA accepted the high standard. “A little hesitantly at the start. But we are in no doubt today that it has been worth it”, says Sandnes. The environmental health assessment scores are through the roof. The soft acoustics, airy ambiance, the fall of the light and the feeling of natural materials create a working environment, that is unparalleled. QUALITY AND SIMPLICITY EMPHASIZE THE FEEL OF THE WOOD The canteen in particular has come to play a very special role. It's pure, simple floor is a massive plate of white corian. This effect is further strengthened by the chalk-white Ant™ chairs, which with their completely clean lines and classic expression, provide the space with a calm and a lightness that is almost poetic in its character. This minimalism especially accentuates the tall wooden panels, bringing nature right into the space with its warm, organic structures. “This adds positive PR value, but above all else it offers a workplace, whose employees really enjoy being here”, Erik Sandnes concludes. Location: Trondheim, Norway Project completed 2013 Architect: Pir II Category: Education Areas: Canteen, Offices Products: Ant™