NHH Service building

Year: 1996

Client: Statsbygg

Location: Bergen, Norway

The building was added as an extension of the University College's facility from the beginning of the 1960's. The structure in the old buildings is carried on in the new building and connects these in several levels. To the north, the plant ends with a curved shape. This follows the landscape and provides space for a library and student canteen.

Emphasis has been placed on adaptation to the surrounding area by shaping the building with smaller volumes towards the surrounding small house area. A glass atrium hosts the stairs, lift towers and entrance portals stand out as large "furniture" in the room. These "pieces of furniture" are clad with ceramic tiles so that colors and materials emphasize form and function.

Birch was used in furniture and building parts where higher quality was desired. The wood is used so that it can be followed as a "trail" throughout the building. Together with colors, the wood contributes to a whole and serves to the intended character of the service building. The wood also provides a warmer material quality than tile-covered surfaces that characterize the interior. Textiles in curtains and furniture absorb sound and complement the colors in the rest of the interior. In the canteens, a stronger color is used than in the rest of the interior.

The canteen is used for breaks from daily work. Then the use of color can sparkle and create a different atmosphere than in the rest of the building.


Two types of benches were designed for the Service Building at NHH:
On the lower floor, a bench was built on the floor level between the new and old buildings. The bench was built as a reshaping of the floor and is clad with tile (colored to match the floor, but polished to give more furniture quality). The seat and back are shaped in birch that is built on the tiled part. Also, in the loose benches, birch seats have been chosen. These are built as a frame around fields of pillars. The bases of the benches are made of thick, stainless and sandblasted steel plates. The benches are given a simple shape without back rest. They are adapted to the building's strict design language.

Detailing and material use in the benches are also used in other parts of the interior.


The project was carried out in collaboration with Arkon AS.


Client: Statsbygg


The building has been awarded the Bergen municipality's building practice prize for 1996.

© 2020 Paal J Kahrs Arkitekter AS