Skip to main content


Lia, Vei 234
Polarbo is situated in the housing estate Lia, an area which was developed in the 1980-90s. The surrounding buildings are characterised as prefabricated residences. The building was completed in 1994 and was designed by Steinsvik Arkitektkontor AS, based in Tromsø. The building is located on a site that slopes toward the northeast and the fjord. Since the terrain is quite steep it provides a magnificent view of the the Adventfjord and Isfjord. In terms of design, extra measures were taken to overcome the challenges of an arctic climate.

Rectangular in form, the building is situated in a way that it is exposed to the direction of the prevailing winds in an east-west axis. The residence has a plough-like form, thus meeting the winds that originate from the east or west. It is clad with profiled galvanised steel sheeting (corrugated iron) and the sheathing is drawn all the way to the ground. On the east side a great deal of glass was employed on the façade. This section is partly air-conditioned and contains the entrance area and the communal corridor that leads to the flats. The windows frames are painted in bright colours.

Year of construction



Steinsvik Arkitektkontor AS


Longyearbyen buss & Taxi AS

Building Type


Construction System / Materials


Prizes / Recognition

Northern Norway Architecture Prize 1997


Arkitektnytt 6/1998 pp. 5

Byggekunst 1-2/1996 pp. 30

Byggekunst 6/1998 pp. 57-59

Bøkestad, Hilde: "Arkitektur i Arktis" Byggekunst 6/1998 pp. 38-47