Middelthunsgate 17 No golden mean
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The housing project in Middelthunsgate is an uncompromisingly high standard apartment building in Oslo’s most notable surroundings.
There are breath-taking views from Holmenkollen, proximity to the water in the Fjord City, but if you are after those classic, admirable Oslo qualities that you are looking for, there is only one place that matters, and that is Frogner-Majorstuen, specifically the area between the Royal Palace and sculpture park Vigelandsparken.
Within the historical notion of residences in the city as a combination of beautiful courtyards, lovely streets and exquisite parks, this is simply without doubt the most beautiful the Norwegian capital has to offer. That is why we were walking that extra mile to do our best when we would design a large residential complex in this challenging context.
Foremost among equals
Even in the context of Frogner, the site in Middelthunsgate 17 is special. In a quiet part of a bustling area, with Frognerparken and Frognerbadet as its closest neighbours, this is a site with very special qualities – qualities we seek to both strengthen and supplement with our project.
As part of this, based on wishes from the client, we based ourselves on a situation without existing buildings and began designing a city from tabula rasa.
Building city blocks when we can
If there is a possibility to build in an established urban development, we often go for city blocks as a typology whenever possible, and is definitely done in this project.
Our chosen strategy maintains facades, streetscape and space formations around site. We believe this is important for the area, and provides a rational use of land with an interior courtyard.
It also gives us the ability to distinguish between private and semi-private zones. In addition, the block serves as a base for towers which rage and exceeds the airiest buildings already existing in the area. It’s a deliberate act to give these apartments the best sun conditions and views over Oslo. The height of the towers relates to the neighbouring house on 14th floor and the project rises to 17th floor and then on to 20th floor. Which is no problem. The three buildings will look great together, with enough light and air between.
Architecture in rich heritage
Throughout the entire new city block a continuous band of balconies will run on the outside of the facade. The residents may choose to glaze them as conservatories, or keep as screened patios. We see this as a respectful and elegant continuation of the old Frogner apartments with recessed loggias in the façades.
The block is clad in light stone. This gives an exclusive feeling and a sense of permanence and character. On the ground floor the commercial spaces will extensively have glass from floor to ceiling, giving the building a defined lightness within the surroundings. The towers have golden wood in their facades, just like the balconies. Outside on the towers there is a layer of thin sun shading screen printed on to glass which can be controlled automatically from each apartment. The outer skin makes it possible to choose the level of protection against wind and weather on each private patio.
Thus, the project will contain some of the finest apartments in the city, on one of the city’s very finest sites.
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