Take a tour around the exceptional Nordic – Office of Architecture-designed Oslo Airport extension

The outer curved profiles and internal sweeping geometries of the prominent Oslo Airport extension may call to mind FC&A’s lighting feature from back in January. Those who checked in to our first issue of 2018 will recall the airport’s stunning illumination design which synchronises with Norway’s daylighting in a bid to save energy. Here, FC&A explores the Nordic – Office of Architecture-designed extension and finds out just how the scheme lives up to its appellation as ‘the world’s greenest airport’.



emonstrating cutting-edge Scandinavian design, the Oslo Airport expansion has set new standards for sustainability and passenger wellbeing. It is the first airport building in the world to receive a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

The expansion doubles the size of the existing terminal to 280,000m²; with the addition of a 300m-long north pier for international and domestic flights, an extension to the main terminal and integrated train station, which sits at the centre of the airport. Overall, the airport’s capacity has increased from 19 to 32 million passengers per year, with a further potential increase to 36 million passengers. Through stacking of domestic and international zones at the new pier; all travellers are able to use all gates, which improves the passenger flow and journey times.

Whilst the floor space has almost doubled, the maximum walking distance remains the same; just 500m. The multi-disciplinary design team applied a holistic approach to sustainability, including the harvesting of as much on-site energy as possible. Snow from the runways will be collected and stored during wintertime in an on-site depot to be used as a coolant during the summer.

Natural materials have been used throughout the entire building. By choosing environmentally-friendlier concrete, the highest degree of recycled steel in armouring, and a wooden roof cladding on the new pier, along with other similar measures, the building’s CO2 emissions have been reduced by 35%.

Energy requirements will be extremely low due to the use of ground source heat technology as well as harvesting heat from spill water in the adjacent municipality to provide heating.

Enhanced levels of insulation enable the project to achieve Passivhaus-level performance standards. Energy consumption in the new expansion has been cut by more than 50% compared to the existing terminal.

Efficiency and passenger wellbeing have been key drivers of the design throughout. The compact layout of the building, transparency and open spaces enhances visual legibility and wayfinding, providing reassurance and peace of mind for travellers. A panoramic window at the north end of the pier, the 300m-long skylight and the curved glazed windows on both sides open up the view to the surrounding landscape and beyond.

The new departures hall on the second floor is airy and daylit, internal green walls and water features enhance the passenger experience as they move through the terminal. While the green walls and water features are suggestive of Scandinavian forests, the retail units in the newly-designed duty-free areas have been conceived as organic stone forms associated with Norwegian landscapes.

Artificial lighting is designed only as a minimal supplement to high levels of natural daylight and can be set to reflect different moods according to weather, season and time of day.

Fact File:

Gardermoen, Norway

115,000m² (new), 25,000m² (remodelling)

Building cost:
14bn NOK

350m NOK


Avinor Oslo Lufthavn

Reponsible architects:
Erik Urheim (PGL), Roald Sand, Christian Henriksen, Geoffrey Clark, Ole Tørklep, John Arne Bjerknes og Bjørn Olav Susæg, Ingrid Motzfeldt, Ivar Ivarsøy

Responsible partner:
Gudmund Stokke

Partner companies:
Team_T: Nordic — Office of Architecture, Cowi, Norconsult, Aas-Jakobsen og Per Rasmussen

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