A-lab’s B Building consists of a mix-use building of 15 stories: 8 floors of DnB NOR offices, topped with living units, in a total of 22.000 m2. The design addresses this program by efficiently compacting flexible office spaces, and optimizing the views and outdoor spaces of housing units, organized around a raised covered garden. The planning of the office levels allows different combinations of layouts, from open landscape to office cells - the possibility of variation of the circulation path (along cores or facades) guarantees efficiency in the different solutions, as well as the best working conditions according to the strict Norwegian regulations for the working environment. Contrasting with the enveloped “machine` underneath, the housing units rest on 1.000 m2 of common open areas, a garden/terrace elevated from the street level. With it’s panoramic elevator and open bridges, this green foyer acts as a buffer that every resident crosses. Opening in both ends to terraces overlooking the Oslo Fjord to the south or the cityscape towards the north and east, the covered garden is the result of an uncompromising real estate strategy of the Barcode Plan: one-sided apartments are not allowed - raising the environmental standards and the living qualities in the new city waterfront. The result was equally uncompromised, with one gesture the housing area only facing the long facades was removed, creating the garden and adding two more “inner facades`. These give the opportunity to open an extra window to the outside garden and to the views of the Fjord or the city - Oslo being relatively low-rise. With a similar gesture, removing a section of the main mass on the two first levels allows for both the planed public passage through all Barcode buildings, as well as the entrance to the housing units - connecting them directly to Oslo Central Station and the city’s central arteries. The pragmatic/idealistic duality between the nature of the office levels and the housing gives the building its unique character. The facade composition is an interpretation of this duality. Planed for optimal daylight and environmental performance, the openings grid “flexes` in the points of higher effort. Theses points/areas reveal not only structural but “conceptual` effort as well, representing the areas where ideas confered activity on the shape of the initial block. Taking the body analogy one step further, the materiality of the building can be analyzed in its three layers as skin, muscle and bone. The outer layer is natural white marble, standing for the initial “untouched` shape. All the volumes removed from this shape reveal the Norwegian wood, as the muscle. The covered garden opening cuts though the middle of the building, exposing its steel structure.