Vestbanetomten, Oslo, the site of a former railway station, is centrally located in the city centre between Aker Brygge and the City Hall, and forms the south-western demarcation of the City Hall square, a waterfront location at Pipervika. Statsbygg invited to an international architecture competition following shortlisting for this centrally located site, with a specific and complex building brief: library, offices, cinemas, a conference centre, flats, shops and restaurants. This diverse range of functions would sustain life in the area 24 hours a day, and throughout the year.
Two listed buildings were also included in the competition brief – the main railway station building and the stationmaster building, both designed by the architect Georg A Bull. Neither of the buildings is especially large but had to be taken into consideration in the design of the new building complex. NSW participated with Foster & Partners, London, and won second place in the competition.
The proposed solution continued existing pedestrian routes as diagonals through the site crossing the block, and the entire project is covered by a large glazed roof. Additionally, provision was made for Oslo’s largest roofed urban space for exhibitions, conferences and other great events.
The project was finally abandoned and in 2009 a new competition on the same site was held for the National Museum of Art. NSW also participated in this anonymous competition and was named one of the six finalists (ref separate presentation).