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Saupstad is a 1970´s suburban development outside Trondheim with low rise housing blocks organized around common yards and gardens. A characteristic of the place is that the whole area is car-free and that a ring road - “Supstadringen” - provide access for the whole area.

The scope of the project was to investigate the possibilities for densifying the area with row-houses on a central municipality owned site. The idea was that row houses would contribute with more variety in housing choice and broaden the mix of different residents.




Trondheim Municipality

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Trondheim, Norway


16,650 m²


Residential, Landscape


Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Our strategy was to further develop the positive values ​​that already exists on site; large green and open areas, low-rise, low density and the car-free inner core of the neighbourhood. The project will facilitate for housing typologies that complement the current offer in the area both visually and spatially, to add a new layer to the existing environment. Together, these strategies allow the densification to be considerate and provide additional value to the neighbours and to the area at large. The vision developed contains strategies on four scales: on the district level, the local environment, the plot and the housing unit.  

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From an urban perspective the plot is located at the intersection of three important elements in the area, which we called: “Saupstad Avenue”, “The Park Ring” and “Saupstad centre”.  The proposal aims to transform the ring road into a green avenue with elaborate walking and biking lanes, while the “Park Ring” is a new ring road exclusively for soft mobility, strategically connecting the area with all the surrounding city compounds. Finally, these two layers overlap at the central area that is reinforced with housing, a mobility hub and a new outdoor meeting area that will be providing service for potentially many more infill projects within 600meter walking distance.

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The site slopes towards north-east which provides challenging sun and shade conditions on the plot and for the neighbouring buildings in the east. The proposal subdivides the terrain by evenly terracing it towards the east. The terraces become plots and gardens for the row houses providing an immediate distinction between private and public areas - making additional boundaries or fences redundant. The many lush gardens and small streets through the site compose a village structure that contributes to a new visual experience in the area.

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The housing offers six different residential units within «large villas» that are multiplied (and mirrored) along the terraces. All units have large private outdoor areas either in the garden or on the roof. There are six different homes in each basic unit, to ensure diversity in the housing composition, which also includes a unit with special accessibility requirements as well as a studio for rent. Some of the units can also merge into larger flats.

A - Typologies


B - Typologies

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Ground floor

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First floor

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Second floor

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