Colourful learning environment

Functional accommodation and tight maintenance budgets were the guiding principles behind the design of the Remmen and Bjølstad student blocks in Østfold.

Starting the year in completely new surroundings!

The Bjølstad student accommodation blocks in Fredrikstad, clad in ore-pine and bright orange STENI façade panels, were officially opened in early September.

“Orange is the signature colour of the Student Welfare Organisation in Østfold, but aside from that, we wanted to create an environment that would stand up to the test of time,” says Tone Krange Thorsen, CEO of BAS Arkitekter, which has been responsible for the design of both Remmen in Halden and Bjølstad in Fredrikstad.

“Student residences have a high turnover of residents, and from experience we know that means a lot of rough use.”

The Bjølstad student accommodation blocks have been given a fantastic warm orange colour. A signature building on the students’ terms, according to the Student Welfare Organisation in Østfold.

The buildings must be able to “take a beating”, which means that our solutions had be durable enough to prevent any visible wear and tear after only a few years.​ Tone Krange Thorsen, CEO, BAS Arkitekter​

Krange Thorsen explains that visible wear and tear actually leads to further decline, as residents adjust their behaviour to the environment.

“A major factor governing both the Remmen and Bjølstad projects were the Student Welfare Organisation’s tight maintenance budgets. With this in mind, we chose cladding in ore-pine that was smoked (Editor’s Note: ash treated) and treated with iron vitriol. In addition, we worked closely with Steni to find exactly the right gloss and colour for our façade panels,” explains Tone Krange Thorsen.

The Remmen building uses four different colours, with the colour codes NCS S 4040-G70Y M, NCS S 4040-G70Y HG, NCS S 5030-G30Y M and NCS S 5030-G30Y HG.

The student accommodation blocks have enhanced Fredrikstad’s urban profile.​ Rita Hirsum Lystad, STUDENT WELFARE ORGANISATION IN ØSTFOLD​


“It has been exciting to be one of the first to build a wooden high-rise block. We have received positive feedback from the students on the use of solid wood, practical solutions and the living environment. We have also managed to create high-quality accommodation at a price that fits a student budget.

The extensive use of wood combined with colourful façade panels generates a feeling of well-being and provides a warm and cosy environment,” says Rita Hirsum Lystad, Director of the Student Welfare Organisation in Østfold.

“The student accommodation blocks have also enhanced Fredrikstad’s urban profile, where they stand out as a splash of colour close to the campus and the city centre. Our goal of creating a progressive building, while focusing on the students’ needs from the start to finish of the construction process, has been achieved. Now we hope that students will experience the accommodation as a safe and positive environment, so that they can enjoy their time at the school.”

The use of green panels from Steni and sustainable ore-pine for the Remmen student accommodation blocks illustrates the importance the project places on the natural areas around the buildings.

At Bjølstad, the orange Steni panels generate interest and debate. The architect wanted something along the lines of ochre colour Daffodil yellow, and STENI ended up producing a colour with the NCS code S1080-Y30R in 50/50 half matt and high gloss.

“We spent a lot of time working to get just the right colour and gloss. There was a lot of trial and error before we landed on the final solution,” says Krange Thorsen.

“It has all turned out really nicely. The area around Bjølstad will see further development, with a number of new tall buildings, which will in turn lessen the impact of the student accommodation blocks. At the same time, residents have been given a nice, vibrant outdoor area in the courtyard of the building, sheltered from traffic and noise.

Technical drawing of the façade.

Environmental issues, a tight maintenance budget and the large number of residents staying for a relatively short time have all helped to shape the design of the new student accommodation blocks in Fredrikstad and Halden. Well-chosen materials and an inspiring expression will benefit current and future students, making their stay both pleasant and enjoyable.

Ensuring low maintenance costs has been a guiding principle. That is why the façades of the Remmen student accommodation blocks have been clad in a combination of Steni panels and solid wood treated with iron vitriol.

Would you like to learn more about the building process at Bjølstad?
Visit the website for Ove Skår Entreprenør og Eiendomsutvikling!