and urban spaces
Oslo’s new mixed-use urban district where city and water unite
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Project Director, Landscape Architect MAA MDL
Masterplan 18 ha, urban spaces 80,000 m2
2005 — 2023
Bjørvika Infrastruktur, Bjørvika Utvikling, Oslo S Utvikling, Stor-Oslo Eiendom
Lead landscape architect
Partners & Collaborators
Norconsult, Bjørvika Infrastruktur
New neighborhoods are often built according to plans in which public spaces occur as ‘gaps’ between the buildings. In Bjørvika Harbor, 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 creates a new mixed-use district where city and water unite visually and physically.
The challenge was to develop a masterplan and landscape design that would connect and promote 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 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
– The Book of Garden
Essay: The Bark Room