Year-round snow fun in a spectacular indoor arena

Lørenskog, Norway
Snø - indoor ski arena
Protan SE 1.8
Colours: White, light grey and dark grey
32.000 m²
Main contractor: Selvaag. Roofing contractor: Protan Entreprenør, Oslo/Dal dept.

Case study - Snø, Norway

Not that there is a lack of ski slopes in Norway. But for that all-year access to snowy conditions, the Norwegians have built a spectacular indoor arena for skiing.

The name of the arena is SNØ (the Norwegian word for “snow”). It looks like a glacier as it rolls down the hillside a stone’s throw from the E6 right by Oslo’s eastern city limits.

Ski enthusiasts can enjoy a handful of slopes for different levels and disciplines, a 1.5 kilometer long loop for those who prefer cross-country skiing, a snowboard and freestyle park and a separate area for beginners.

Aesthetic ambitions

The architects' ambition to create the feeling of a glacier slouching down the hill is of course an aesthetic challenge for the construction of the building. Built into the hillside, the snow dome has walls and roof covered in shades of white and grey.

The Protan SE 1.8 membrane used for the project was delivered in white and two shades of grey. Installing the membrane was quite a challenge, as the building’s 32,000 square meters of roof surface at a length of 500 meters gets pretty steep at times.

- Working to install the roof on SNØ during mid-winter, with strong winds and icy roof surfaces, presented challenges that have really shown what our roofers made of, says Kjetil Holtet of Protan’s own roof contracting company Protan Entreprenør.

You can sense the dimensions of the project and the steep conditions in this video:

Passive-house standards

The temperature in the snow zone inside SNØ is around minus 4 degrees. However, the building is constructed so it actually produces more energy than it consumes, redistributing the surplus for heating and cooling locally.

Adhering to passive-house standards, there was also very important for the construction and installation of the roof to be extremely tight.

A new village

The indoor ski arena has also gotten its own “alpine village”, Snølia, at the bottom of the slopes, with hotel, apartments, shops and restaurants, and easy access to Lørenskog train station. The wet room systems used in the bathrooms of the village apartments are manufactured by Protan subsidiary company Litex.

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Photo: Hille Melbye Arkitekter

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Photo: Hille Melbye Arkitekter

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