The existing urban structures are forming the foundation for our new plan for the Nybyen area in Drammen. In contrast to superimposing a new autonomous neighborhood onto the former industrial site, we use the qualities and specificities of the surrounding situation to inform the development for a new integrated neighborhood. A new public space – the Common – mediates the border between old and new, connecting historical buildings and adjacent recreational areas with the new development.


Parallel commission 2019


Bane NOR Eiendom

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Drammen, Norway


100.000 m²


Master planning, Residential, Public space


Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter, PIKS


The common is car-free and creates a pleasant and informal area for strolling and biking between a new botanical park linked to the “Smithestrøms farm” and a historical railway building retrofitted into a community building.  The high blue-green factor of the project is part of the identity of the new neighborhood. Existing trees are kept and additional ones planted and the common is also performing as a water management reservoir.


The development allows for a mix of different housing typologies, cultural facilities and office spaces in addition to social services and a kindergarten. Car access to the site is minimal and only small extensions to the adjacent street grid are proposed. This will limit the cost of infrastructure and spread the car traffic evenly in the existing grid. Parking coverage is kept very low as the site is close to public transport.

Street structure
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Bicycle and pedestrian
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Green structures
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The site is subdivided into several developments that reflect the different qualities of the site. Where the grid is extended, we propose housing units that are small in scale and arranged around courtyards. Along the park, there are towers with smaller footprints that allow for a public park to surround the buildings with apple trees. Around the existing rail yard building, we propose similar low building slabs that promote the local context of the rail yards and feature mixed programs of offices and culture. Towards the railway station a high dense office cluster is proposed close to the public transportation hub. 

Inside perspective.jpg

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