Norwegian medical training facility designed
"not to look like a hospital"

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Movie: in our next exclusive interview from Inside Festival, Per Anders Borgen of Ratio Architects explains how the design team used raw materials to "remove the institutional look" from the interior of a student facility at St. Olav's Hospital in Trondheim, Norway.

Knowledge Cente at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim , Norway, by Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture

The Knowledge Centre by Norwegian studios Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture is a medical student research, training and teaching facility at St. Olav's Hospital in Trondheim. It won the health category at last month's Inside Festival.

Knowledge Cente at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim , Norway, by Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture

The outside of the building features a black and white glass facade, designed together with artist Anne Aanerud, which provides shade from the sun as well as decoration.

"Architecture and sunshading form the facade and the expression of the building," Borgen explains. "That is connected to a very high demand on energy reduction."

Knowledge Cente at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim , Norway, by Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture

Inside, the architects chose to leave much of the building's wood and concrete structure exposed.

"Because this is very much a university building, we tried to keep it a little bit rough," Borgen says. "In hospitals you [usually] have all these clinical, sterile materials. We tried to avoid that."

Knowledge Cente at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim , Norway, by Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture

"We wanted to use natural wood and concrete. The construction is the interior and that's part of our concept."

Knowledge Cente at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim , Norway, by Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture

Patient wards and visitor areas, as well as the student library and cafeteria, feature specially commissioned art works painted on the walls.

Knowledge Cente at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim , Norway, by Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture

"We were trying to remove the institutional look," Borgen explains. "I don't think a hospital needs to look like a hospital. That is a convention you can challenge as an architect."

Knowledge Cente at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim , Norway, by Ratio Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture

"It's very hard because you have all kinds of demands that force you to do something. But [the Knowledge Centre] is an attempt to make a good building with function and good form joined together. It's not different from every other architectural concept or task in that sense."

Per Anders Borgen of Ratio Architects
Per Anders Borgen of Ratio Architects. Copyright: Dezeen

This movie was filmed at Inside Festival 2013, which took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 2 to 4 October. The next Inside Festival will take place at the same venue from 1 to 3 October 2014. Award entries are open February to June 2014.