In 2012, we completed the refurbishment of the Indigo Textile Factory, constructed between 1896-1899 by Norwegian architects Ove Ekman and Einar Smith. Sitting alongside the Akerselva River in Oslo, the original building had a rich history of uses but was partially destroyed in a fire in the 1980s.The area was historically referred to as ‘Ny York’ (New York) due to its explosive development in the 1860’s.Like its sister city, the area reflects a focus on art, architecture, and design.


Textile Factory Adaptive Reuse

The Signal Mediahus, while preserving the historic, inserts a completely new architecture inside the shell of the old. Hosting several film production companies under one large glass roof, the building is designed in both plan and section as one large open space. This architectural solution allows for an efficient use of energy, reducing consumption and minimizing the need for technical installations. According to the best use of light, the cinemas are located at the bottom, the sound studios in the ground level and the offices and meeting rooms at the top. The void is transversed by crossing stairs which become the social space and galleries.

The design goals for the Office of Contemporary Art (OCA) were to create a space where a discourse on art could be generated rather than represented. Finally exposing the raw materials of the original building, the design introduced only one new element – a large wooden stair to transition between OCA offices and project space, and also act independently as an auditorium feature. The stair organizes the space in 3 zones, providing a room in the room for lectures and screenings, a reading room and Library of Norwegian Artists as well as the surrounding exhibition space.