The Arctic Salmon Center, a striking, modern building perched on rock face jutting up from the ocean in the village of Skutvik, Norway, is now complete.
“It has been unbelievably exciting to work with such a special building in such a special place,” said lead architect Peter W. Söderman of Norconsult AS. “This is a quite extraordinary building that has been greeted with astonishment by my colleagues.”
Norconsult’s architects in Sandvika, Oslo, and Tromsø, in collaboration with engineering firms in Bodø and Sandvika, were commissioned by global fish-farming company Cermaq to design a display centre for the fishing industry. The project includes an information centre for Cermaq’s fish-farming activities and a room for meetings, seminars, social gatherings, along with exhibition areas, viewing rooms, a café, and administration areas.
The Salmon Center is located on a mountain ledge overlooking ferry connection, with a view of the fish farm in the ocean below. The shape of the building is informed by the shape of the mountain slope; the structure settles into the terrain to minimize the building’s intrusion on the landscape surrounding it. The interior of the building focuses on the view of the ocean and the fish farm.
Norconsult carried out the design of the assignment from the sketch phase until completion with a team consisting of an architect, project manager, and a complete engineering team. Additional lighting designers from Norconsult were employed to plan for various conditions both outside and inside the building. The sparse window surfaces frame and emphasize the view. The exterior of the building is clad with polymer composite panels with photo printing (graphics designed by the architect) and cement-based panels facing the mountainside, heat-treated wood and concrete with table formwork.
The Salmon Center’s façade panels create an illusion of salmon scales, while the contrasting shading helps downplay the building’s height and merge it into the landscape. Located in a harsh marine environment, exposed to incessant sea foam, wind and snow, the building is not easy to access. This required a façade material that can endure long periods without maintenance.
The interior features large areas of stained woodwork with different denominations to emphasize different parts of the area. The exhibition area at the back of the building is completely without daylight to ensure good lighting control for exhibitions.
The fish-farming facility includes an educational viewing corridor where visitors can learn about modern fish farming, what challenges the industry faces today, and the technological solutions under development to make the farming industry more efficient and sustainable.