Holmen in Asker is going through major changes. The road system will be reorganized, 
opening up for the heavily trafficed thouroghfare to become a local street with crossings on ground. 
The shopping centre will be revitalized and restructured, parts of the existing building mass will be torn down and replaced by new shopping, retail and housing. 


Feasibility study 2014 - Ongoing


Citycon / Storebrand

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Asker, Norway


26.500 additionalz m²


Masterplan, Residential, Retail, 

Public space


Ghilardi+Hellsten, Tegmark

Situation plan
In addition to revitalizing the commercial areas of Holmen, an overall strategy has been developed to strengthen the area as a destination and local centre with focus on pedestrians and cyclists. With a great variation of existing and new programmes, from shopping and housing to large recreation areas, sports arenas, new swimming hall, beach and marina, a new public space in the middle will link it all together. 


The common
Defined by the sightlines from the Municipal sector plan (KDP) a new pubic space - The common - is developed. As a structuring element in the plan, defined by facades of the new housing and commercial areas, this public space will be the link between the different recreational areas. The new local street, pedestrian and bike ways will run through the common, which will work as a new infrastructrual node with stops for public transport, drop offs and bikeparking, landing in the local marina


The common is divided into four different zones
(1)Hard surfaces with some greenery inbetween. Short term parking, drop-off and smaller deliveries
(2)Hard and semi-hard surfaces with some greenery.Bus stop, benches and bike parking, outdoor seating
(3)Soft and green areas.Culture, park, play and recreation
(4)Water in combination with hard and soft surfaces. Recreation and leisure

The common seen from the west with a framed view towards the marina and the fjord.


Holmen 2
Today’s shopping centre is devided in two buildings on each side of the roads, connected by a lond slim indoor bridge. 

The new commercial areas will still be on both sides, not of the roads but of the new local street and the common. The major difference is that the facades towards the common will have multiple entrances to activate the space. 

Holmen 2, on the south side, will have the majority of the shopping areas and still be a shopping centre. The centre will be revitalized by expanding and restructuring the programmes and flows, and opening up the facades towards a new square. 

Existing entrances
Existing entrances
New entrances
New entrances

The shopping centre gets additional areas added to its volume, one part working as a new attractor seen from a distance entering the site.

At the same time a separate volume is developed with retail spaces on ground floor and housing on the upper floors. The builing steps down towards the fjord generating multiple facades. In addition, four atriums are created, to bring light into the volumes.


Holmen 1
The existing centre to the north is torn down, replaced by a one floor base of retail and local services. The parking is moved under ground and above this base, a new housing area is developed. The facades to the south are all placed in the viewline, framing and activating the common.

Building heights
Building heights
Residential area
Residential area
Urban vs. suburban
Urban vs. suburban

The housing area is working as a mediator between the common and the existing low-dense housing area. Three concepts have been developed to maintain and exploit this:
(1)To maximize the view towards the fjord, the height of the new buildings are graded from low in north-east to higher in south-west.
(2)A contiunous structure in the south gives an effective noise-barrier towards the road, which most likely will be heavily trafficed for many years to come.
(3)The new developement is suggested with smaller footprints towards the neighbours in the north, while the buildings towards the common and Holmen 2 will be more contiuous and with a larger footprint. 

With a plinth of retail and local services, this part of the development will mainly serve the common, the recreational areas, and the local community. 

On top of the plinth, the housing area will be an area of its own, with entrances to from the inner green areas. The buildings are split into different volumes to enable the public to pass through the site. Together with a playground, this creats a combination of public and private spaces, giving character and different identity to the outdoor area. 

View towards the fjord from the existing housing area in the back, with the new development on the right.

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