Two students from the Royal College of Art and Nottingham Trent comment on the Norwegian scheme

About the scheme

Norwegian architect Snøhetta has designed this 16,000m² laboratory as part of a research centre for marine technology company Marintek. The Deep Ocean Laboratory is located off the coast of Norway near the harbour of Nyhavna, close to Trondheim. The firm hopes to complete the centre within 10 years.

Student verdict: Rachel Harding

This scheme, in Trodheim, is so bold that it has led many to dub this Norwegian city as the new Dubai. But unlike many artificial islands before it, this sub-zero simulation has a serious agenda. It is hoped that the new Maritime Space Centre will create a research hub and further Norway’s position as a leading maritime power, hence its landmark aesthetic.

Crammed with freezing pools, an artificial reef and high-tech research equipment, this building has a corporate sleekness that will seduce the city in to its futuristic vision. Somewhere between a spaceship and high-class sea-life centre, this scheme has a purity very fitting for something at once sensible and make-believe.

Student verdict: Jo Parsons

The form of the Marine Lab is very simple, however the structure provides maximum levels of lighting to the building through light wells/artificial luminance and open planes.

The gap between the roof structure and the floor provides a frame of the distant landscape, allowing a visual relationship between the off-shore laboratory and the mainland.