as part of the powerhouse series, snøhetta realizes a sustainable model for the future of workspaces in telemark together with collaborators R8 property, skanska, and asplan viak. as snøhetta’s 4th energy positive building, ‘powerhouse telemark’ reduces its yearly net energy consumption by 70% compared to similar new-construction offices, and by producing more energy than it will consume over its entire lifespan — setting a new standard for the construction of environmentally sustainable buildings. through standardized interior solutions and co-working spaces, tenants can scale their office spaces as needed, granting much needed flexibility in a global context where remote working solutions continue to increase in demand.

snøhetta powerhouse telemark
all images by ivar kvaal | @ivarkvaal



snøhetta and its team design ‘powerhouse telemark’ to propose a new model of sustainable building typology. the energy sector and building industry account for over 40% of global industry’s heat-trapping emissions combined. as the world’s population and the severity of the climate crisis continue to grow, the collaborative team at snøhetta, R8 property, skanska, and asplan viak, introduce powerhouse workspace in telemark, norway as a challenge to work across industries to build more responsibly. the building’s striking solar roof gently slopes at a 24° tilt to surpass the extremities of the building’s volume, expanding the roof’s surface and ensuring a maximum amount of solar energy can be harvested both from the photovoltaic canopy and the building’s PV-cell clad south-facing façade.

snøhetta powerhouse telemark



on three sides, snøhetta’s ‘powerhouse telemark’ is clad with wooden balusters providing natural shading on the most sun exposed facade. behind the wooden balusters the building is covered with cembrit facade panels which give the building a unified expression. functioning just as a passive house, the building is super insulated and features triple isolated windows throughout. the concrete slabs lend the building a density akin to that of a stone structure storing thermal heat during the day and slowly emitting heat during the evening. a low ex system with water loops in the border zones of each floor, assures that the building is efficiently cooled and heated through geothermal wells dug 350 meters below ground.

snøhetta powerhouse telemark



the skewed volume, sculpted with a 45° tilting notch, maintains a clearly identifiable expression that stands out within its industrial context of the surrounding herøya industry park. inside, the building features a barception, office space, including two stories of co-working spaces, a shared staff restaurant, penthouse meeting spaces and a roof terrace overlooking the fjord. two large staircases connect the building’s ground and top floors, from the reception area and all the way up to the staff restaurant and penthouse meeting rooms. a distinctive straight wooden staircase reveals itself at the ninth floor, visually tying the staff canteen and penthouse meeting room area together and leading visitors to the building’s roof terrace.

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project info:


project title: powerhouse telemark

architecture: snøhetta

collaborators: R8 property, skanska, and asplan viak

location: telemark, norway

completion: 2020

photography: ivar kvaal | @ivarkvaal