Inspiring Students Through Design

Sorhauggata 100 in Norway was designed as a simple and rational student housing project. Designed by architects Helen & Hard, it is located in the centre of Haugesund close to the University College.

Troldtekt Studentsamskipnaden Haugesund
Photo: Sindre Ellingsen

The philosophy of the architects is to create architectural solutions that serve and inspire their occupants. It means exploring how the basic elements of architecture together with the spatial and material organisation can result in synergistic design solutions.

Consequently, this simple but dramatic compact volume comprises small units on several floors arranged around a central corridor. To preserve the scale of adjacent buildings, two staircases divide the street elevation into three parts in order to bring light and activity through the façade into the building.

The overall impression is of a warm and inviting place, partially achieved with timber surfaces which reflect its cross-laminated timber load-bearing construction. Outside is a separate courtyard with pavilion which houses additional studio apartments. Together, this courtyard and the roof terrace serve as social meeting places for both students and visitors.

The ground floor includes conference facilities, student services, such as a laundry, and an important coffee bar which encourages interaction between the busy street and life inside.

Reflecting the architects' use of natural products, the cafeteria and potentially the nosiest part of the building has been lined with acoustic ceiling panels from Troldtekt to absorb sound and create a peaceful and very pleasant atmosphere. Here the Troldtekt wood wool panels in natural wood colour have been installed in a T35 profile system together with both hanging and inset lighting.

This project fulfils the requirements of Passive House standards. It was also winner of a Norwegian Building Prize (the Byggebransjeprisen 2015).