KIRKENES, NORWAY - Barents Secretariat would like to build a unique signal building in Kirkenes to demonstrate Norwegian High North. The building will generate debate far beyond Norway's borders and to stimulate the development of knowledge about the Norwegian-Russian North. The plan is that the new Barents building will be the world's tallest wooden house, built of natural materials with innovative and environmentally friendly solutions.

As a center for the development of the Barents cooperation and the bridgehead in the Norwegian High North, the Church throughout the past 20 years played an important role in Norwegian foreign policy. It is in Kirkenes that Norway meets Russia and here geopolitics for centuries shaped society and relationships. Is the time it should be a visible symbol of this role. A signature building which clearly shows the importance of the development of northern areas of Norway.

- This should be a building that people want to go to to experience. An attraction and a landmark which is extraordinary. Equally important is that the building is a center for knowledge and a meeting point for international interests in the North, says Secretary General Rune Rafaelsen.

The world's highest concept that architectural agency Reiulf Ramstad Architects are working on is building the world's tallest wooden building in Kirkenes, located on the site of the old fire station in the town hall next door. It will be a monument of 16-17 storeys, built in natural materials with the most innovative and environmentally friendly solutions in terms of both construction and operation.

- The idea is to construct a building that is CO2 neutral, where the tank circuit will be central in all aspects. That we also build in wood is a unique symbol of the pervasive green profile. The innovative solutions to modern wood architecture should stand as a sign of the level of expertise in the region, says architect Reiulf Ramstad.

A beacon in the northern Barents Rafaelsen want the building to capture in it the resources and broad expertise in a variety of disciplines found in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. By collecting this myriad of resources in Kirkenes, it will create a center that is founded on the historically multi-ethnic dimension of the area. It will contribute to the Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Sami and Norwegian can easily meet and develop.

- Barents building will be a beacon for the development of the Barents Region and the cross-border cooperation in the north, says Rafaelsen.

Architect Reiulf Ramstad envisions the building's foyer surrounded by a new and modern library of Sør-Varanger. The library already has one of the largest collections of Russian books, will therefore be able to strengthen its position further. Furthermore, the building will contain a modern stage, among other things, create a base for the artistic communities in the region. Floors further up, in addition to the Barents Secretariat is filled with educational settings, research and other relevant local and regional expertise.

- There will be no problem filling the approximately 10 000 square meters the building will consist of, say Rafaelsen.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.