It is this democratic openness that has inspired the design of the new county house – an architecture that reflects the qualities of Norwegian democracy; honest; open; ambitious; compassionate; and deeply rooted in local communities. We have wanted to create a building that embodies these qualities – an architecture that represents openness and citizenship.
- 27.000 m2
- Hordeland Fylkeskommune
- NSW Arkitektur, HUS Arkitekter, Arkitektgruppen Cubus
The architectural competition for the new county house for Vestland was won by NSW Arkitektur in collaboration with others. The ambitions were high: To create a new icon for the region and for Bergen city; an icon both regional and local – in the form of a building that represents the entire county at the same time as responding to the local urban context. It will stand as an institution and arena spanning the intersection between the public and the private; the popular and the solemn; the low-key and the grand.
The design of the county council hall is central to these ambitions. It symbolizes the heart of the democratic institution and the public face of the county authorities. The project opens the hall and exposes it to east and west simultaneously. Raised above the ground, the hall provides a view of Bergen city and the surrounding countryside, affording the surrounding city areas the opportunity to look directly into the hall. Thus, the county council hall – the forum for the region and its elected representatives – is made visible and exposed.
The facade of the building creates a vertical shimmering skin with associations to the weather and climate of western Norway. Vertical slats with different angles will change the character of the building, according to changing weather and light. The space between the towers will have warm and natural materials that contrast with the cool tones of the exterior facade.