Norges Bank, a masterpiece made by the rule

From the site to the detail, from the grid to the diagonal, Norges Bank is considered by many to be Lund & Slaatto’s masterpiece. A building made for its own plot, the perfect building –all by the rule, everything fits perfectly.

The building sits in the inner city center of Oslo; a rectangular block, the complex is composed by sloping roof lights, pyramidal towers and five buildings marked for preservation remaining. There, Norges Bank sits like a fortress, impenetrable but easy to read when it comes to its structure.

Site development

The solution to a block where some rules were already set was articulated by the architects by means of geometry, structure, and detail. All of them may be considered one part of a whole as none of them exists without the other.

Plot development

The Geometry

Lund and Slaatto’s pursuit of perfect geometry, often based in modular systems, reached its zenit with Norges Bank. In Chateau Neuf, from the use of the grid to the articulation of the cube we can notice they reached a form perfection by using the diagonal. The diagonal became the element that helped organize the individual spaces with just one rule, allowing to create a single system that made possible a richer sense of space and friction between the volumes.

From the grid to the cube to the diagonalFrom the grid to the cube to the diagonal

The Structure

The structure is defined by the geometry. Norges Bank concrete porticos are designed following the floor plan grid. Being a large building, it is organized with a set of one-way structures that lead the auxiliary zones with technical installations, giving it a direction.

Structure axonometric

Structure axonometric


One fifth of the modulation is used for standard interior features, like the walls, and the module by five stands for the main geometry and roof cornices.


The Detail

The most defining element is the cross-section of the column. Its perfection makes everything possible and allows the rule to prevail. Designed almost like a Renaissance building, the plan encompasses all the column positions, taking the modulation to the extreme, horizontally and vertically.

The perfection of the cross-section column allows everything to fit perfectly.

Three elements. Three scales. One building: Lund & Slaatto’s masterpiece, the apex of their theory.



Information sources:
Lund & Slaatto. Ulf Gronvold (1947). Oslo. Universitetsforlaget.
Lund & Slaatto Arkitekter. Norges Bank:

Pictures and media:
All the drawings are made by the author.
Lund & Slaatto Arkitekter. Norges Bank: