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 Grønnegata 122

Grønnegata 122 ( Grønnegata 122)
Address: Grønnegata 122
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Architect: Jan Inge Hovig arkitekt MNAL
Client: Troms County
Construction System /
Concrete; brick
Building Type: Administration building
Keywords: police station, adminstration building, concrete, brick, ribbon windows, parapet, natural concrete, functionalism
Year of Construction: 1958-1961
The former county administration building, built around 1960, today houses the police department. This building is majestically situated in the northern section of the Tromsø town centre, and is slightly withdrawn from the street.

The county administration building was constructed as a six-storied building with a rectangular ground plan. The ground floor and top storey have a distinctive and expressive form, while the four intermediary office floors appear like a massive block, with marked corners and a repetitive pattern alternating between dense and open planes. The façades have a reciprocal design, and there is essentially no differentiation between the front and backside of the building. Nevertheless, the north-facing façade has a different articulation because the stairwells are attached to it. The dense wall planes located on the corners and by the main cornice are clad with yellow brick. Elsewhere, the remaining façades are comprised by a continuous rectangular surface with a row of windows and a glass parapet. The surface planes have an exterior framework of "natural concrete", and four stories of vertical ribs create a series of axes between the windows. Even though the façades are relatively similar, they are experienced in different ways; namely because the windows disappear behind the concrete ribs when they are perceived at an angle.

The building has a robust use of materials and a relatively heavy character. It seems to radiate an air of authority. In addition, certain actions were carried out in order to make the visual expression "lighter". Consider, for example, the V-shaped columns on the ground floor. These columns transfer the weight of the massive building shell to the ground. While at the same, they provide the possibility of adding design to the façade on the ground floor, such as a spindly glass wall. The main roof - as it was originally designed - appears to be "hovering" above the actual shell of the building. The room the county council hall originally occupied is situated like a box in front of the façade, alongside of it lies the main entrance. Covering the entrance is cantilever roof that is supported by a lightweight steel frame. A contrast between light and heavy elements is also reflected in the use of materials, where fragile window parapets of toned glass stand in contrast to the overlying framework of "natural concrete".

During the period from 1994 to 1996, the county administration building was converted into a police department. At this time, the top storey was expanded and a new underground parking complex was constructed, with access from the street Bispegata.
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 05.02.2007
Author: J.S
Photographer: J.M.B 2003; I.H 2006; J.S 2006

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