Teachers House by Element Arkitekter

Element Arkitekter gives nicknames for all the projects in the office to emphasize the main concept. Smykkeskrinet(Jewelry box) refers to both the artwork on the main facade and the large conference room, or box, which together creates the heart of the project.

Element won the competition in November 2004 on a site in the middle of Oslo that had never before been built. The client, Union of Education Norway, stated in the competition program that the main goal was to implement a conference room as big as possible.

Smykkeskrinet is therefore an extension and complementary function of the existing facilities. Also the old neighboring building is partly occupied by the project.

Artist Jorunn Sannes was invited to develop the art piece for the main facade. It symbolizes the important role that the Union of Education Norway has concerning education.

It is composed of two layers of glass with the screen print on the outside of theinner glass. Also, glassfins were designed to bear the load of the façade. The art doubles as sunscreen to reduce heat.

Smykkeskrinet is a building built for the future with an energy consumption of less than 80kWh persquare meter a year. Heat from the sun through the main southwestern glass facade and the northeastern facade is collected in the thermal concrete mass and stored in the energy wells to be used during the winter. In the summertime cool water is drawn up from the wells and circulated through the building. Also, LED tubes are implemented in the handrail of the main staircase and in the outside ceiling, whichuses a minimum amount of energy.

Smykkeskrinet is not only a zero emission building, but in time even become an energy positive building.

Photography by Element Arkitekter AS

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