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Opera House in Oslo

Location: Bjørvika, Oslo, Norway
Architect: Snøhetta
Structural Engineer: Reinertsen Engineering ANS

The Opera House in Oslo was meant to achieve a high architectural quality and monumental appearance while retaining a sense of togetherness and open access for all. The designers made the building accessible in the broadest sense of the word by laying out a “carpet” of carrara marble over the roof of the building allowing visitors to walk along the sloping 18,000 m2 roof. Along with the idea of the building as a carpet, designers wanted to express a wave wall (made of oak) and a factory (made of aluminum) as part of the facade.

Roof and Wall Vertical Section


The roof is comprised of a cover of 80mm white marble, 100mm of screed, several layers of insulation, 80 mm of concrete topping followed by another 400mm of a precast concrete slab.
A marble guardrail is attached to the roof structure and forms into the top of the exterior wall. These are connected to the structure of the roof by steel angles and plates.

The upper unglazed portion of the exterior wall has a cover of 50mm of white marble, followed by a ventilation cavity, a wind and waterproof barrier, 50mm of insulation, wood battens, a plywood panel, 10mm steel plate, and a steel angle plate. The marble slab hangs out away from the main structure of the exterior wall and is connected by stainless steel pins.

The remainder of the exterior wall is double glazing braced by steel flanges.

Aluminum Covered Section of the Facade

“Opera House in Oslo.” Detail 2009 No. 3: pg 272-289.

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Written by Sarah Michaels

January 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized