With its unique location in the centre of Oslo’s business district and within close proximity to the fjord and prominent buildings including the impressive modernistic City Hall, the National Theatre, and the new National Museum, VIA is a flagship for modern day Oslo. The design respects the city’s history and skyline while also presenting a contemporary aesthetic and a building that engages in dialogue with its surroundings. Standing proud among its momentous neighbours, VIA demands its own space with a strong and visually appealing presence.
To adapt to the different scales and to the city’s street profile, from the outside, VIA appears as a tight sculpture, while its true generosity towards the city becomes evident through its organic, almost fluid facades that grace the publicly accessible courtyard. Inspired by the gradual erosion of land by water over time, the courtyard emerges as a fresh urban space, evoking the emotion of coming to a clearing in a dense forest. The idea was to create a welcoming atmosphere and natural gathering point that people would want to return to, while others might simply use the space as a serene shortcut through the area. The porosity of the building ensures accessibility from all directions, fosters interconnectivity within the vicinity and offers a high-quality urban space rich in experience and sensory impression.
Replacing an introverted mall with half-empty offices that showed little interest in its surroundings, VIA reaches out and welcomes a wide range of users by offering a mix of high-end offices with experiences revolving around shopping and food served in a semi-subterranean food court. The synergies between the functions and the rest of the city make for a vibrant urban space benefitting citizens and professionals alike while also supporting Oslo’s greater vision of being an attractive destination for businesses, settlement, and tourism. Since its completion in 2021, VIA has become a symbolic focal point for the new modern Oslo connecting people, places, and professions.