Aker brygge is surrounded by some of the largest developments in Oslo, and in 2010 the process of revitalizing Aker brygge started. Entering from Rådhusplassen, the Nationaltheatre, Tjuvholmen, Skillebekk, or the Oslo fjord - all roads lead to Aker brygge. Understanding the immediate context inspired a new reading of Aker brygge, no longer a quarter on the edge but a center in a new and larger neighbourhood. 


Completed 2016


Norwegian Property ASA

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter,

Space Group Arkitekter


Oslo, Norway


100.000 m2 + outdoor areas


Asplan Viak, Ljusarkitektur


Mastrplan, Public Space,

Mixed-use, Office, Retail, Marina


Roland Halbe, Jonas Adolfsen,



Tegmark, Eve Images,

Ghilardi+Hellsten, SpaceGroup

This reading we have translated into the Aker Brygge Star. The star changes the understanding of inside out, haves and have not’s, front and back. Every part is vital and contributes to the whole identity of Aker brygge.

A compact strategy for Aker brygge was developed, focusing on four parts: 


  • From shopping centre to street shopping 

  • The diagonal and atriums

  • Corporate streets and lobbies

  • The waterfront and marina

A movie was made in 2011 to give an introduction to the revitalization project.


From shopping centre to street shopping

Concept 1

When starting the revitalization process, the commercial areas of Aker brygge consisted of a multi-storeyed, introvert shopping centre. 

A commercial and urban strategy was developed, transforming the shopping centre into street shopping, opening up the ground floor to become easy accessible and inviting, activating all the streets of the area.

The previous shopping centre was divided into four buildings, spread out on up to three floors. 

The new strategy was to convert the upper commercial areas into office space, leaving all shopping on ground floor and eliminating the need of vertical circulation. In addition, the internal streets were restructured, from many smaller to one main, making the shopping logistics easy accessible and connected to the surroundings. By doing this the shopping centre was turned inside out, and number of entrances maximized and addressing the streets.   

With a shopping centre over multiple floors and buldings, the circulation between was solved with bridges. This kept the people inside the shopping centre, but at the same time away from the streets.

Many of the old buildings have gone through several modifications, with extra elementes added to the facade.

As part of the revitalization strategy and convertion to street shopping, these elements were removed and the number of openings and doors were maximized. The idea was to bring the buildings back to its ”clean” origin, at the same time optimizing the building to its function. This work was done in close contact and collaboration with the preservation authorities, together finding the right strategy.


The diagonal and atriums

Concept 2

A diagonal shopping street connects Aker brygge’s square, Bryggetorget, to the square of the Town hall, Rådhusplassen.  
The street is a ’clean-cut’ trajectory cutting through the three buldings, becoming a densified internal shopping street. With its double height, the diagonal is spaceous and inviting, opening up to the surrounding with wide, litted and articulated entrances.

The shopping street was planned with a sequense of ”interruptions”. In addition to the side streets giving the internal street natural breaks, the existing roof lights were to be connected to the diagonal by four differently articulated atriums, both physically and programmatically. Two were thought of as outdoor spaces with a landscape concept, while to two others were to be spaces for art. 

As a completed shopping street, the diagonal called Jenny Hemstadsgate, consists of ceiling and paving work unifying the street. At the same time, the entrances, overlight and two atriums give the street charcteristic and individual situations. The one atrium has with its sculptural geometry, become an arena for art, with the installation ”Sundial for Spatial Echoes” by artist Tomás Saraceno. 


Corporate streets and


Concept 3

As a step in both activating the side streets and acknowledging Aker brygge as an important business district, all offices have gotten dedicated double height entrances to lobbies addressing these side streets. 

By doing this, every office gets an address, and the side streets become  so called corporate streets.

Previously the offices and shopping centre shared entrances, blurring the lines between the two. By separating their entrances, giving both functions their own character and visible identity, they can easily live side by side and benefit from each other. 

Early sketchets show how the lobby entrances would get their own identity with the double height space, a dedicated address and signage. The streets were thought of as an extention of the lobbies, underlined by furniture and paving specially designed for the corporate situation.


The waterfront and marina

Concept 4

Aker brygges waterfront promenade has been upgraded by a new continuous paving liftet to one holistic level, and new lighting and furniture. By removing the asphalt and change of levels, there was an obviuos shift from cars to people, prioritizing the promenade as one big public space. 

Vis mer

The promenade is stepping down to meet the water, creating an amfi for people to sit and watch the fjord. Larger boats have been moved away, replaced by one small pier for ”kiss and sail”. The marina has been upgraded and made more accessible for the public by adding a new entrance and a 15 meter wide pier as a new public space for events and as an extension of the promenade.


Related Projects

Stranden 1