The Varner Group is a dynamic company spurred by an internal competitive model consisting of several competing sub companies. The Varner Group Headquarters is the home and battle ground for all the companies.
They faced us with the challenge: “Can you, vertically double the size of our existing building? And oh, by the way, the existing structure is already utilized to its maximum capacity”.
Faced with the laborious exercise of reinforcing and re-piling every existing column, a simple structural gesture is suggested liberating the existing from its external forces, while doubling the capacity of the headquarters. The (structural)-weakness of the existing leads to the clarity and strength of the new.
Unable to rely on the past, the expansion is envisioned as a new, free and externalized structure.
The new building is conceived as a box hovering above the existing building. The box becomes the new fourth floor. The unbuilt space, captured between existing and new, becomes the exceptional floor. An inverted John Malkovich. 1000m2 of column free space for experimentation, representation, work and catwalks.
V(-ictory) for Varner
Three pairs of V-shaped concrete columns support four trusses forming the basis of a stiff frame, the box. Four floor high; the V’s will be the only load baring and lateral stabilizing structural element in the building.
A new global skin
The building is wrapped by a continuous glass skin mediating between old and new creating a new unity for the VHQ. Reflective on top and below, transparent in between the glass facade reveals and exposes the cut.
The new Academy auditorium shifts the headquarters internal centre of gravity towards the transitional space between the buildings. The heart of the new VHQ becomes an open stage for exchange of ideas and competition.
Roof of existing office building
4 500 m2
Extension and renovation of the Varner Gruppen Headquarter
Adam Kurdahl, Gro Bonesmo, Gary Bates, Wenche Andreassen, Fredrik Krogeide, Mirza Mujezinovic, Tim Prins, Minna Riska, Lotte Sponberg
Van Santen & Associates, Lille
Norconsult – Florian Kosche
CM Prosjekt AS