Winy Maas of MVRDV explains how his layout for a “large creating composed of mini units” produced a headquarters for Norway’s DNB Financial institution interspersed with indoor and outdoor meeting areas, in the penultimate film from our unique series (+ movie).


Finished in 2012, the constructing is one of three designed for the financial institution on a establishing stretch of Oslo’s waterfront. Rotterdam-primarily based MVRDV planned the 17-storey creating as a stack of brick and glass cubes – offering it a pixellated look.

The aim was to make it look more like a cluster of domestic-scale properties than a higher-rise block – a tactic also not too long ago employed by a Paris nursery and a Luxembourg office building.


“The DNB building was an try, at the second that there was a monetary crisis in the world, to reposition the Bank of Norway, and to mitigate between the city and the outer globe,” explains studio co-founder Winy Maas in the movie.


“These pockets or cockpits, they are made like pixels above the building,” he says. “The total constructing is recommended to have this large constructing composed of mini units.”

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MVRDV chose a Norwegian brick for the facade to emphasise this technique. “As an alternative of utilizing the corporate glass, this tends to make a much more human and approachable attitude to the financial institution,” says Maas.


The irregular arrangement of the six-metre-broad cubes generates recessed openings across the facade, making space for sheltered terraces on each floor and a central arcade. Wooden bridges and staircases connect the floors inside and outdoors.

There is also a pedestrian route that cuts by way of the building, connecting the waterfront with a nearby railway station.


In accordance to Maas, the pixellated form made it easy to produce this variety of flexible spaces through the interior.

“For instance, we could kick out some of the pixels and you would have an entrée, an arcade, or you would have a kind of connection from 1 street to an additional,” he says.


“Or we could kick out some pixels and they would give a slope for deeper sun angles to penetrate into the developing,” Maas adds. “And you could reduce them out for light on the sides, or say for outside spaces to smoke or to sit outdoors each floor. And last but not least we could transform the brick pixels into glass pixels so that also could generate internal grounds and spots.”


DNB employee Espen Brynsrud says the building’s most successful aspect is the way it encourages people to frequently meet and interact with one one more.

Associated story: A-Lab adds pixelated tower with a hollow centre to Oslo’s new waterfront development

“The men and women you need to have to meet are much simpler to meet in this building than in our former offices,” Brynsrud says. “The doing work atmosphere right here is a good a single. This area is open – it’s an workplace landscape.”


The DNB Bank Headquarters is found within the waterfront improvement of Bjørvika Barcode. The other two buildings that make up the complex are by Norwegian studios A-Lab and Dark Arkitekter.

Maas co-founded MVRDV in 1993 with Nathalie de Vries and Jacob van Rijs. This movie is the ninth in a series profiling the firm’s function, which also involves a pair of seed silos converted into housing and a Paris workplace block with a hole in the middle.

Photography is by Jereon Musch.



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