Client: Municipality of Oslo
Location: Oslo, N
Site: 38.2 ha
Program: 460,000 m2 housing, offices, cultural and commercial buildings, terminal facilities, parking
Chris Moller, 3RW Arkitekter, Karres en Brands
Oslo’s Fjord City project is planned to be one of the most exciting waterfront developments in Europe. Over the next 20 years, 225 hectares of docklands will be transformed into places where people can live, work and be ‘next to the sea’. Filipstad lies at the heart of the Fjord City project and is seen by many as being the site into which the city centre can most easily extend. Until now, there have been conflicting views on the site’s potential: the Port Authority and current site owners want to maximise development whereas the municipality wants to balance new housing and business locations with recreational facilities and cultural space. The task was to provide a robust urban vision that can mediate between these two opposing ambitions. The requirement to retain the existing ferry terminal, coupled with the need for massive parking areas and extensive public space posed the greatest challenge for the site. In response, we have created an artificial hill with a dense urban, pedestrian environment above and with parking and servicing below, hidden and ‘out of sight’. This concept creates a unique topography, identity and character for the site and allows the buildings and public spaces to cascade naturally towards the water’s edge. Three city parks structure the plan: the Fjord Park will become the new public stage for Oslo and is designed primarily for big scale event-places. In contrast, the Water Park will be more intimate with quays, stairs and jetties, seasonal events and art installations. The existing highway will be re-landscaped to form a ‘Boulevard Park’ that celebrates Oslo’s eastern gateway for cars, pedestrians and cyclists.