In 2016, The Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA) moved into their new office space at Helsfyr in Oslo, Norway. As part of a complete rehabilitation of the building, Snøhetta and Tegn-3 completed an interior layout and furnishing plan for NOMA. Further, Snøhetta created two new staircases connecting the interior zones of the new office space.
A main staircase and a secondary staircase are both developed based on integrated conceptual elements giving the staircases a unique identity. A DNA-spiral is the starting point and inspiration for the design. Through their designs, the two staircases make for good vertical communication between the different floors of the office space, creating a feeling of community helping build a strong company culture.
The main staircase stretched from the third to the fifth floor. It consists of two distinct half circles, where the upper circle is smaller than the lower one. This creates good visual contact between the floors and facilitates spontaneous encounters across the organization.
The railings of the main staircase are made from 8 millimeters water cut steel, which is rolled and welded together, before being sanded and lacquered. The pattern of the railings is based on a blend of pentagonal and hexagonal elements found in DNA’s molecular structure. This is further developed into a graphic expression where the nonrepetitive pattern gradually dissolves towards the upper part of the railing.
Both staircases with belonging railings are made from white stained steel with carpets on the stairs, reflecting on the interior of the office space.
The secondary staircase takes the users from the third to the fourth floor through a slim straight run staircase. A social zone on the third floor connects the staircase to a small amphitheater, easing movement between the floors. The railings of the secondary staircase are made from vertically reaching squared balusters, which are tilted towards the ceiling to create a visual openness towards the fourth floor.