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Year: 2020

Client: GC Rieber

Location: Bergen, Norway


In 1855, modern times came to Solheimsviken in Bergen: Michael Krohn established Bergen’s Mechanical Workshop to build iron steamships. Until then, wooden ships were dominant on the seven seas. After the shipyard in Solheimsviken was closed down in 1991, GC Rieber AS has further developed the area into a business park. Paal J Kahrs Arkitekter AS has designed 5 of the new buildings in the business park.

The office building "Skipet" (The Ship) is given the name both to describe the building's shape and reference to the history of Solheimsviken.

Skipet has wooden constructions, which continues Bergen's proud tradition of wooden buildings. The decks are made of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and columns and beams of glulam. The building has an area of ​​approximately 14,000 m2 and when it is completed in 2020 will be among the largest Norwegian commercial buildings built in solid wood.


Skipet is surrounding between areas of different character.

East of the building are the main access roads to Bergen city centre, both the E39, the light rail and the main cycle path. There is also an increasing number of pedestrians that pass along this side of the building. The west side faces a more quiet area with office buildings, cafes, a quay promenade and a marina. Traffic on this side is mainly pedestrians and bikes.

The building is therefore important as a separation, but also as a transition between these areas of different character.

Between Skipet and the hotel building, which is located towards the quay promenade north of Skipet, there is a wide, attractive and inviting opening. The sloping bow of Skipet leans towards the hotel's straight vertical facade and add tension to the space between the buildings. The space forms a sort of "portal" in and out of the new Solheimsviken.


The building is given a simple shape in the ochre-yellow curved volume with its characteristic «bow».

The main volume is built over a more freely formed ground floor that adds more variety in the experience when you get closer to the building.

Three staircases are vertical elements that visually anchor the main shape to the ground.

The roof structure is shaped like a green landscape and makes Skipet’s environmental profile visible.

The ochre-yellow and red colours of the facades are a reference to façade colours of the historical Bryggen area in Bergen.

Although the Ship’s volume is easy to read, it has been carefully detailed in a way to adapt and refer to all of the surrounding buildings. The end gable towards the Verftsplassen has a dimension and shape that correspond to the facades of the opposite DNB building and to the neighbouring Moxy hotel building.

The horizontal window bands have common features with, among others, neighboring Skipsbyggerhallen building, while the wall surfaces with rectangular windows refer to the more traditional buildings in the neighbouring area of Danmarksplass.


The ship is environmentally certified BREEAM EXCELLENT - the world's leading certification for sustainability assessment.

CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) technology helps reduce carbon emissions in the construction industry. This makes the Ship even more sustainable.


Recognized and published by the Nordic Council of Ministers in the publication: “Wood in Construction: 25 Cases of Nordic Good Practice, Copenhagen, 2019. Among other things also published in ”A-MAGASINET”, 2019


The ship is designed by Paal J Kahrs Arkitekter AS + Holon Arkitektur for GC Rieber Eiendom.

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