Nydalen + A big plus for Oslo

Project information
Location
Oslo
Client
Avantor
Year
2014
Collaborators
COBE

The urban masterplan Nydalen+ is a power demonstration of the potential underlying the art of real large-scale urban planning.

Nydalen has already been developed over decades with Avantor as a long-term owner and developer. Under their supervision, Nydalen has gone from being a traditional, outdated industrial area to a well-functioning city district and home of the Norwegian Business School (BI), various cultural enterprises, a range of apartment buildings, a new subway station and revitalization of nature and outdoor spaces.

The goal of reshaping Nydalen from heavy industry to knowledge-based industry has been reached, and is a true accomplishment. But the trend is pointing towards an even greater potential, where Nydalen can go from being a place people live and work to a truly vibrant and integral part of Oslo.

This is where Nydalen + comes into play.

"The goal of reshaping Nydalen from heavy industry to knowledge-based industry has been reached"

Big areas, big opportunities

In Nydalen+, Mad Arkitekter collaborated with Danish COBE by working on an area extending far beyond Nydalens current borders. The plan area goes along the east-west and north-south axes with Nydalen as a focal point. This gave rise to the name of the project, as it draws a big “Plus” down the river Akerslva and across from Storo to Tåsen.

This provides opportunities to see connections and think holistically on urban development in a way architects usually are completely cut off from in their usual project-based work.

Vibrant and including

The result is a plan where the district gets a rich and complex mix of not only residential and commercial buildings, but of completely different types of housing, businesses and services – dense and high in some places, low and soft in others. In some cases, hard surfaces and clean outline architecture dominate, with a soft, sprawling and organic supplement and contrast.

In this way houses, streets and squares can be scaled roughly to fit each other. While the course will be allowed to develop over time for different stakeholders and with room for various improvements along the way, we believe in the value of having a solid plan as a backbone.

Urban Planning and Management Director Harald Hals is perhaps the best thing that has ever happened to the city Oslo. Not only because he is skilled, but because the position he cased gave him a mandate and scope that enabled to put things in context, and just the right value we want to bring to the project and develop further on.

From satellite to centre

Thus Nydalen + is not a story only about Nydalen. Avantor has told the wonderful tale well over two decades. This is something more – an attempt to see how active urban development may create ripple effects beyond the areas directly affected and to energize and elevate adjacent areas.

Nydalen is a successful story, but the neighbourhood has remained a satellite with Tåsens drowsy houses on one side and the displaced, car-based settlement around Storo on the other. This will now change, and the bottom line of Nydalen + is that not one square meter will be build without considering that it is a potential district centre where a small scale function will affect the larger picture.

 

All photos by Coastarc / Rasmus Hjortshøj

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