and urban spaces
Oslo’s new mixed-use urban district where city and water unite
Masterplan 500,000 m2, urban spaces 80,000 m2
2005 — 2021
Bjørvika Infrastruktur, Bjørvika Utvikling, Oslo S Utvikling, Stor-Oslo Eiendom
Lead consultant, lead design landscape architect
Partners & Collaborators
Gehl Architects, Norconsult
New neighborhoods are often built according to plans in which public spaces occur as ‘gaps’ between the buildings. In Bjørvika Harbor, Oslo’s largest urban development project, the planning is happening the other way around.
As master planner and lead landscape architect, SLA is leading the regeneration of Oslo´s harbor and main waterfront – the largest urban development project in Norway. In an international competition in 2005, SLA won first prize with a proposal to regenerate Oslo’s old industrial harbor and create a new mixed-use city district. SLA’s landscape-led masterplan reconnects central Oslo with its harbor and water and creates a new mixed-use district where city and water unite visually and physically.
The challenge was to create a masterplan and landscape design that could contain and create synergy between the many programs and typologies of the brief: A new state opera, two art museums, a university library, research institutions, retail areas, a new commercial and financial hub and many new mixed residential units.
To accommodate these demands, SLA designed the masterplan and the individual public spaces as green, fully accessible and multifunctional ‘allmenninger’ (‘commons’) that would function as the glue and the catalysator between the programs and as the new cultural, social and commercial meeting places for Oslo.
Each ‘allmenning’ is designed with its own distinctive look and feel according to its social program, its urban context and its functional demands. Thus, the entire site contains public spaces from representative harbor fronts that match Oslo’s world-renowned Opera House and commercial outdoor shopping areas to green neighborhood parks and small plazas that is the homes of community gardens, social activities and informal hang-out spots.
Come explore the fundamentals of our office together with us
Essay: The Bark Room
– The Book of Garden