There is an art to putting a ship in a bottle, but there’s also an art to carrying out construction work around a large ship. The museum that houses the old 1936 polar ship Fram is a landmark and tourist destination inside the Oslo fjord. In Stockholm there is the Vasa museum, built around a 1628 war ship.
Now Stokmarknes in Vesterålen has also gained a striking architectural signature building constructed around an old ship. MS “Finnmarken” was put to sea in 1956 – the same year Elvis Presley debuted on the American music charts with “Heartbreak Hotel”. Jarlsberg cheese was also launched that year and the first Troll car left the factory in Lunde Telemark. The Hurtigrute ship sailed along the Norwegian coast in all types of weather until December 1993. The following autumn it was donated to the Hurtigrute museum in Stokmarknes.
Working against gravity
LINK Architecture designed the museum. A giant installation around an 81,2-metre-long ship is now ready, perhaps the most striking building ever constructed in a Nordic country since the Arctic Cathedral was completed in Tromsdalen in 1965.
The main entrepreneur behind the installation is PEAB Bjørn Bygg AS, and the Bodø branch of Protan Entrepreneur AS took on the challenging job of covering the roof and walls with its demanding angles.
The biggest challenge was on the gable walls and the façade of the parts of the building that lie against the ship’s bow and stern, explains project leader Kent Ove Nilsen at Protan Entrepreneur AS in Bodø.
There was an especially strong emphasis on aesthetics and finish for the insulation and roofing in these parts of the building. Angles, twists and turns on the gable walls were especially challenging for the roofers from Protan Entrepreneur.
Twists and turns on the façade made it impossible to cover it vertically, so we had to do it horizontally and we were thus working against gravity in all directions. In addition, it was all but impossible to establish a scaffolding because of the design of the façade, so we had to do the job from a lift, explains Nilsen
How Protan solutions can boost the architecture as well as the exterior and identity of a building.
Roofing in all types of weather
The Bodø branch of Protan Entrepreneur AS has a lot of experience and expertise that was evident in a project like this. They solved technically demanding challenges through all the seasons – and with a pandemic on top of all this. The project started in January 2020 and construction was complete in November.
By nature, literally, this construction has to tolerate a lot of bad weather and wind. Exactly as the Hurtigrute ship had to tolerate sea spray and the North Wind, the Hurtigrute museum and its new protective building has to tolerate the tough polar climate over a long time. Hurricanes are not unusual In Stokmarknes and this creates extra demands on the fastenings of roofs. For this project about 32 000 fasteners were used – in comparison, a normal building of similar size with a flat roof would need about 20 000 fasteners.
The weather is a challenge for projects like this. When we work on buildings in this type of location, close to the coastline in Vesterålen, the long-term forecast is limited to about what you see out in the fjord when you turn around. Conditions change very quickly, says Nilsen.
Durable white membrane
Protan AS, and head of sales Bjørn Nordseth, were involved in the planning phase of the project with the architects at LINK and consultant from Multiconsult. The membrane used for the roof and façade is the completely white, lacquered CoolRoof – a version of the Protan SE 1.6.
Because it is lacquered, it is also more resistant to external impact and will keep its white colour better. Including the side walls, a total of about 4 500 square metres of environmentally friendly roofing products were used.
To lay a roof on such a striking and special building is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs a roofer can take on. How did they experience this work?
When we are in the middle of this, with challenges regarding weather, progress and technical solutions, it is quite demanding. But when we get it right, it’s obviously great. It’s something we are proud to be part of, says Protan Entrepreneur’s project leader Kent Ove Nilsen.