Gottlieb Paludan Architects wins design competition for new fire station in Oslo city center


103 proposals were submitted for the open planning and design competition for a new fire station in the center of Oslo. A unanimous jury chose Gottlieb Paludan Architects' proposal Glød (Glow).

The jury writes about Gottlieb Paludan Architects' winning proposal: “The proposal uses burned timber facades, the building's structures are wood and recycled concrete is used as paving on the site. Extensive contributions of natural light to active areas reduce the need for artificial lighting. It is also meant to collect rainwater for use in toilets and in the laundry room”.

The existing main fire station in Oslo is to be vacated at the end of June 2023. Therefore, the municipality organized a competition for a new fire station in Bjørvika which will house the Fire and Rescue Agency. In the competition, Omsorgsbygg Oslo KF demanded a technically optimal fire station which at the same time offers ideal conditions for the staff. The work of the fire service must also be visible to the surroundings.

The fire station is placed in green surroundings and its sculptural design is evident: Three dark, enclosed blocks surround the engine hall and carry an open and light floor of light wood and glass. To the Northwest, the building recedes a little by pushing one of the volumes a little under the top floor. This leaves room for the main entrance, which gives a characteristic visibility in the square. Passers-by can look into the fire station from all sides of the building through openings between the closed volumes on the lower floors. The building's design testifies to an understanding of the special urban context and is a good match to the area's current mix of industry and container port.

Wood is an important material in the fire station, both for its architectural expression and for its sustainability. In the construction, wood is used wherever it can replace concrete. This significantly reduces the building's CO2 footprint and increases the use of short-traveled materials. The chosen materials also contribute positively to the health of the employees, the environment and the local surroundings.

The fire station will be put into operation by the end of June 2023.