Bioforsk, The Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research

The institute for vegetative research, Planteforsk, is the National centre for agricultural and horticultural research.

Planteforsk is comprised of 12 research stations located across the country, and the research station in Ullensvang, Lofthus, is responsible for research of fruit and berries.
The research station in Lofthus lies at a nodal point for fruit farming in Hardanger, located in the western part of Norway. The landscape is dominated by deep V-shaped valleys with steep fertile mountainsides plunging into deep fjords. Roads and habitation run along the coastline. The site is located along the water edge, in an area where a number of ancient stone-piers (from about 1250) have been excavated. These where probably used to anchor the boats of people attending church, and the area is therefore of great archaeological interest. The Lofthus Research Station was established in 1949.

The newly erected laboratory and maintenance building is an independent structure situated on a slope to the south of the existing complex. The new building is partly buried into the hillside, with a sloping slate-roof rebuilding the terraced landscape. In its modesty, the building emphasises the dramatic landscape.
The new building is devided into three parallell functional zones: garage, storage and plant room (areas that do not require daylight) – packaging hall connected to the yard on both sides – and finally, the laboratory functions (areas that do require daylight).
The built area is some 1750 m2, with the whole building on one level.

The structure is comprised of a combination of massive in-situ concrete under ground, and lighter laminated timber elements carrying the slate roof. The concrete constructions takes up the horizontal loads from the hillside. The slate roof is a ventilated construction, and all floors are contructed directly on the ground.
Total cost 3.300.000 €