The Westerdals School of Communication was awarded 1st prize in an invited competition. The building is situated in Vulkan – an old industrial area next to Oslo’s picturesque river Akerselva, and popular public space Kuba. Conceived as a “square peg in a square hole”, the footprint of the building volume is smaller than the perimeter of its basement plan, allowing for a skylight to run along the perimeter of the building. The skylight creates a dynamic and enjoyable experience in the basement spaces; providing daylight during the day while projecting light up and into the surroundings at night. In the darkness, the building appears as an object which is literally “vibrating” in its own space.
Openness, accessibility and a strong visual presence are important values for Westerdals School, hence generous entrances and a publicly accessible ground floor. Public functions found on the ground floor invite the public inside and consist of a small mediatheque, a student café – open to the public with outdoor seating by the river Akerselva – and a multipurpose area suited for exhibitions, parties or informal workstations.