When visiting the Oslo waterfront, the new opera house is not the only thing attracting your attention, a sculpturally shaped building that twists like a wave at the edge of the waterfront does too, The Wave. With this project we seek to create a multifunctional building, a meeting place in the city structure and a high level of flexibility. It is the objective of The Wave to be a contemporarily shaped building that radiates sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Inspired by the maritime environment and the Norwegian building tradition of wood we create a flexible space that mimes the organic shape of wooden hulls. The Wave is above all a restaurant and a café, but due to the flexibility of the space an all-year program is enabled. The Wave seeks – through its simple and well-defined identity – to give people in Oslo the possibility to occupy the harbour in a new way.


Cultural building

1000 m², landscape 2000 m²

Norway, Oslo



MAPT, Alliance, Finseth, PEAB, Timber





Partners in charge: Anders Lendager, Mads Møller

Employees: Bjarke Ørvad, Christoph Von Mach, Claus Dalsgaard, Diego Cubillo Nielsen, Henrik Vedel, Jenny Haraldsdottir, Óli Rúnar Eyjólfsson, Simon Olafsson


The building is situated on the quay as a hinge between the city and the fjord and will stand as a landmark in the urban renewal project of Akerbrygge. It stands out of the crowd, but at the same time pays a respectful tribute to the history of the maritime setting.


The spatial programs have been joined to form a simple shape with a distinct identity becoming a natural element in the local surroundings.

1. The dock is a place for cultural and recreational purposes. It is a flexible surface for activities close to the water, which can be utilized for a multitude of purposes. This is why the intention is to leave the largest area possible untouched.

2. A band defines the perimeter of the new house, floating above the ground, framing a horizontal view towards the harbour. Contact to the harbour is ever-present in the new house. At the same time the quay is kept intact and flexible. The possibility of alternating between indoor and outdoor according to season is established.

3. At certain points the band is pulled down to close the surface or raised to allow access, light and views. The band is squeezed at the middle and through this operation a large public exterior space is created on each side of the building.

4. The roof of the band is pushed down establishing a roof-top-terrace. Shielded by the parapet you can observe the harbour. A maritime atmosphere is established and gives the impression of being on the wooden deck of a ship.

5. All the service functions of the house have been gathered in a core accommodating facilities such as kitchen, storage, offices, toilets, etc. The size of the core in plan is minimal, only occupying a small part of the dock and allowing for the rest of the building to be one large flexible space.


The Wave insists on being a building that takes functional and pragmatic constraints seriously. A good indoor climate must be present, as well as good lighting and working conditions. All floor planks work as part of a giant radiator through concrete-core-conditioning that heats or cools the building according to what is needed. The wall also acts as thermal mass and a thermal regulator due to the pipes within the concrete, that carry hot or cold water.

Segregation of heating and ventilation systems is achieved by using heating and cooling systems with a natural ventilation net. The insulation material is a cellulose filling that is created of recycled paper, a material that allows for a high level of insulation even on curved geometries. With these technologies the annual energy consumption can be reduced by 70-80% compared to conventional HVAC-systems. Openings in the glass façade and ventilation openings make for a healthy, physical flow of air throughout the building.


The Wave is a meeting place. A meeting place for people, sea, mountains – and a meeting place for past and future. When weather permits, the quay can be enjoyed from above, the roof terrace giving views to the Fjord, the Town Hall, and Akerhus fortress. The open floor plan can be subdivided according to varying needs and can cater to larger events such as conferences, cultural events or concerts. The Wave will intertwine with the present life on the quay, adding opportunities for new experiences as well.


The building combines Norwegian traditional wood-building techniques with the newest digital production methods and sustainable energy solutions. This combination has resulted in a building that combines the known and the unknown. Both in form and materiality. Wood is a very environmentally sound material and has been incorporated from the first sketch in both the construction and façade system.