Knowledge Center at St Olavs Hospital

The Knowledge Centre, opened in September 2013, completes the overall scheme for the hospital grounds that has been on-going since the design competition in 1995, and is centrally located in the heart of the 225.000 m2 hospital-development in Trondheim, Norway.

This 18.000 m2 building saves 2 million kWh per year, and has proven that it is possible to make significant savings even in the most energy intensive buildings – hospitals. It also makes the passive house-facade a huge and unique work of integrated art and architecture, facing the new urban plaza of the city.

Designed with a strong emphasis on functionality and usability, the Knowledge Centre will provide facilities for both St. Olav’s Hospital and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The building services include outpatient treatment rooms, advanced laboratories, offices, isolated beds, wards, medical/public library, study rooms, auditoriums, canteen and restaurant.

The main building structure is wrapped around the primary place of sharing knowledge; the “egg-shaped” auditoriums – made of an exposed three-dimensional diagrid wooden construction.

Incorporated in the facades is a unique and completely integrated artwork, refining the building components already present in the passive house building. The artistic combination of external walls with white printed glass-cladding and black print on the white sunscreens makes the look of the facades change during the day, dependent on the solar heat load. All the technical installations save energy, working together with the extremely well insulated building – intelligently controlled by a centralized system. Some examples – the indoor lighting use daylight sensors, and are turned on/off as the sunshades go up and down. And 90% of the heat in the indoor air is recycled; ventilation is controlled by CO2-sensors. All materials used are sustainable, healthy, and makes a highly useable and humane hospital building.


Project Type


Trondheim, Norway

Related links


  • Ratio Arkitekter AS and Nordic Office of Architecture
  • Cowi all engineers, Asplan Viak Landscape architects, Anne Aanerud artwork screen facade
  • Espen Grønli, M.Herzog Visualis, Courtesy of Ratio Arkitekter AS and Nordic Office of Architecture, Jiri Havran