In 2023, the leading Norwegian real estate firm Aker Property Group unveiled the Aker Tech House, a seven-storey multi-tenant office building totaling approximately 30 000 square metres designed by Wingårdhs and located in Fornebu, an emerging business district near Oslo. The new building is formulated as a tech campus for companies, primarily those operating across software development, such as Cognite, and renewable energy, such as Aker Horizons. Along with the existing buildings, Aker Tech House helps frame the Fornebuporten plaza from three sides. A subway station is in the works, set to further establish the block as a business hub for northern Fornebu.

To improve office acoustics and provide comfort for leasing tenants, the monolithic ceiling solution Rockfon Mono Acoustic and the colourful acoustic ceiling tiles Rockfon Color-all were installed by Oslo Bygginnredning AS across the office building and its flexible open spaces. The project aims to achieve BREEAM "Excellent", for which the acoustic solutions help grant points.

Office Building Design Dominated by Neutral Hues

Instead of allowing trends or colour to guide the office building design, the architects selected timeless materials that would last over time and allow for emergent tenant changes. "It is partly through our material choices that we create an environment that is sustainable over the long run and that will wear nicely over time – as well as with our colour choices, which are calm, light, and neutral, without being white", says Sara Helder, Architect SIR/MSA, MFA at Wingårdhs.

Views of the exterior are spotlighted throughout. Materials such as limestone, metal surfaces, concrete, plaster, and carpeting provide a calm, grey foundation. Wooden elements, including window sections and ceiling lights, introduce warmer tones.

"We wanted Aker Tech House to have a bit more attitude", says Fredrik Lyth, Architect SAR/MSA at Wingårdhs. "Aker Tech House should feel dynamic and signal innovation and technology, while at the same time, be welcoming."

Improving Acoustics Across the Office Building

The office building is characterised by large open atriums with a significant use of glass, hard surfaces, and high ceilings, all of which are a challenge for acoustics. Wingårdhs tackled the issue by selecting the monolithic solution Rockfon Mono Acoustic in various shades of colour, ranging from white to grey, across the non-glass surfaces.

Featuring a lacquered golden surface, a 31-metre-high spiral staircase acts as the focal point in the atrium with natural lighting funneled down. "The fact that we went from white on the ceiling towards a medium grey at the floor level reinforces the feeling of an intense natural light from above", says Fredrik Lyth. Acoustic solutions are especially important in such office circulation areas to eliminate the disruptions caused by people walking and talking and to prevent sound from leaking into working areas. Rockfon Mono Acoustic offsets the use of hard surfaces by absorbing excess sounds to create comfortable environments. In tandem, balconies with rich vegetation, staircases, and the way parapets are angled help to zone the areas and break up the sound.

For an auditorium, Rockfon Color-all acoustic ceiling tiles in Charcoal and Anthracite colours contrast against one another to create an elegant palette, complemented by integrated LED lighting fixtures.

The building's six office floors have slightly different layouts adapted to the tenants' needs. In open plan spaces, divisions such as room dividers and plants delimit and break up the large areas into smaller parts, which help to create variety and different locations. Here, Rockfon Color-all ceiling tiles in the Mercury colour were selected – another shade in the 34 curated colours available for the range of acoustic tiles.

"The surface of Rockfon Color-all in Mercury is slightly metallic and shiny and we think it gives a tech feel to the build. It's also darker and reflects less light than the standard white solution, which gives the ceiling a pleasant heaviness. It grants a certain calmness to the premises when compared to white ceilings. We're very satisfied with the result and with Rockfon's products and solutions in Aker Tech House", concludes Fredrik Lyth.

The surface of Rockfon Color-all in Mercury is slightly metallic and shiny and we think it gives a tech feel to the build. It's also darker and reflects less light than the standard white solution, which gives the ceiling a pleasant heaviness.

Fredrik Lyth

Architect SAR/MSA, Wingårdhs
Installer:Oslo Bygginnredning
Photographer:Erik Burås
Tiles:Rockfon Color-all®, Rockfon® Mono Acoustic
Edges:A, TE Elegant Render
Dimensions:1200 x 600

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