The Bærum Cultural Center is built in an exciting town centre site next to A. Haukelands Plaza. The building forms the focal point of an important cultural axis running through the town centre of Sandvika, a town outside of Oslo.
The building plaza connects the old town hall, the bridge crossing the river, the new city hall with municipality offices, and the neighboring cinema complex. The Cultural Center is formed around a 600-seat theater hall, equipped with all necessary back stage facilities, two rehearsal rooms and a large public foyer.
The upper foyer reaches out towards the streetscape and reuses A. Haukelands Plaza as part of the cultural stage. Since the site was too small to fit the building, it was important to create an inviting and functional foyer as a connection between the indoor and outdoor plaza spaces. The building’s cantilever makes the entrance plaza a semi-outdoor area. The indoor foyer has a floor made of white terrazzo with embedded glass pieces that stretches out as a “white” concrete carpet in the plaza.
The glass façade along the long facades has an integrated light design program with full RGB colour renderings.
The previous A. Haukelands Plaza was a chaotic, traffic-congested area that lacked clear boundaries. The reconstruction of the plaza is concentrated around generous slate-covered sidewalks and granite curbs framing the new circular traffic pattern.
Green lawns and new tree plantings frame the slopes around the old town bridge and reconnect down to the river. The building has a dramatic presence within the existing urban context, giving culture an identity in Sandvika and Sandvika an identity on the Norwegian cultural scene.
The primary facade facing east is formed around the raised and cantilevered rehearsal room that also acts as a lobby, gallery and presentation space to the public below.
The main theater room is designed with an economical use of materials. Plywood and exposed catwalks and structure creates an industrial atmosphere within a predominantly refined architectural program
The curving seating plan and simple proscenium opening allows for a strong sense of intimacy with the stage and performance.
The main lobby is composed of terrazzo using recycled glass fragments.
Small glass blocks made by the artist Cathrine Maske, each with a small insect printed inside.