The regulation of Økern Torgvei 6 enables retrofitting of a huge industrial site at the northern border of the city center in Oslo. The site formerly used as a distribution center for wholesale of fruits, flowers and vegetables, will transform into a new neighborhood including approx. 1000 homes, a school and kindergarten, commercial areas and a public park serving the whole Hovin district.
The four residential quarters provide for different housing typologies, along with new public connections through the area with squares, meeting places and recreational zones.
The kindergarten, school and multi-purpose hall are located in a large pedestrian friendly, blue-green park structure, which enhances a regional green corridor, north-south. A water management system, including a river and multiple ponds, will serve as rainwater harvesting for the site and areas around. It is planned for a kindergarten with 8 departments and an upper secondary school with 840 students.
Oslo kommune Eiendoms-
Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter, Cowi, Asplan Viak
Mastrplan, Mixed Use, Residential
Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter, Tegmark
The current topography has been adjusted to meet the surrounding terrain along Økern Torgvei and Spireaveien and to facilitate active facades and accessibility on all sides. To avoid transportation of soil masses, the residential structures and the underground parking space contribute to even out the height difference to improve the connection through the site. Likewise, the multi-purpose hall is placed under the school and kindergarten, partly below terrain.
The public park has good views and sun conditions, and the sloping terrain is perfect for rainwater harvesting. Together with adjacent green areas in the north and the south, the park is approx. 150 acres, equivalent to the size of Oslo Botanical garden.‘Refstadbekken’ river, which is currently in an underground pipe system, is suggested to be reopened and reconstructed as part of the natural infiltration system in the park.
Except from Økern Torgvei and Spireaveien the connections through the site are car-free and support the concept of green mobility. The regulations ensure a minimum of three east-west connections, a diagonal through the residential buildings and school facilities, and longitudinal connections as well as the walkway system in the park.
Squares and meeting places are located along the main connections. The buildings are designed with cut corners to ensure special qualities with optimal sun conditions and visual contact between urban spaces. The majority of active facades with commercial services are placed along the diagonal pedestrian connection between Økern Torgvei and the new school complex.
Perspective from Økern Torgvei showing the central plaza
TYPOLOGIES AND URBAN SPACES
Perspective showing shared space street
Strategies for interaction between building and urban space
Perspective showing internal garden
The residential blocks are designed as a base- and tower structure. The stepping terrain and gradually growing bases of the buildings provide great variation for different housing typologies and sheltered courtyards. The towers are stepping down towards south to ensure a combined maximum of 8 floors for bases and towers, and their locations have been defined according to the solar conditions and to the surrounding buildings.
Units on ground floor are designed as duplexes or row houses to take up the terrain differences in the inner courtyard with front and back gardens suitable for residents with kids, animals, gardens interest etc. The different housing typologies in the towers provide a good mix of small and large apartments, with no flats being one-sided, facing north.
The outdoor areas consist of roof gardens, front gardens and courtyards on terrain.
THE HOVIN PARK
The Hovin Park is part of a larger “green ring” in the district of Økern and will serve as a recreational space for both residents and visitors. The aim is to combine recreation, activities, and playgrounds with an open water management system of rivers and ponds. The system is designed to be as functional as possible, while also being an attraction with its unique identity, biodiversity, and areas for learning. The Refstadbekken river will be reopened with natural buffer zones of varied vegetation to secure the area during floods.
Centrally in the park, a bowl-shaped atrium pool is established for larger collection of water. On "dry days", the pool is intended to be used for play and activities. The natural topographic slope of the park creates a landscape atrium around the pool, facing south.