A new masterplan for Nordbyen will expand the city centre toward the north, and strengthen the identity of Tromsø as ”The Arctic Capital”.


The project is deveolped as a "pilot" for building along the Norwegian coastline.


Completed June 2015


Tromsø Municipality

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Tromsø, Norway


55.000 m2


RIB Florian Kosche, NORUT

Plan Urban



Time is energy, and therefore a precious commodity which too often is misused and wasted in Norwegian urban planning. 
NORD-BYEN-HAVN-2116 contains elements which are designed as strategic components of a larger scheme, but which also remain independent from each other and can be implemented “non-linearly”. Setting in motion some of these projects could easily start today.


Traffic strategy
To make Tromsø city-center a desiable place for bikecycles, pedestrians and urban life, we proposed a new traffic plan, minimizing use of private cars.  

At the landing point of the bridge we propose the new public transport hub for bus, taxi, bicycles and ferry.  

An important part of the traffic strategy is to exlude the car from the Tromsø bridge, and refit it for pedestrians and public transportation. 


Rising water level
Storm water and the rising level of the sea forces all new development to be built on kota +4 or higher. Large parts of the coastline will be under water and this informs our approach to building in this new landscape.

Public space 
A network of public space/parks  is implemented to tie Norbyen to the existing city structure. 

Public space 
A network of public space/parks  is implemented to tie Norbyen to the existing city structure. 


We create different neighborhoods, where existing and new areas compliment each other and create new urban synergies, increasing activity in public spaces.

Identity: Culture district
In “Hansjorsnes bukta” we propose the new Tromsø museum as the corner stone for a new area dedicated to both formal and casual cultural programs. 

Identity: Tromsø Museum
The museum will have a floting departmant, that detatches and travels to other locations along the coast, based on seasons or events. 

Identity: Seminarneset harbour
On “seminarneset” we propose a system of piers, strengthening the relationship to the ocean for businesses and inhabitants.  

Identity: Seminarneset harbour
Public space at kota +4 and floating waterfront at the given sea level. 


The new harbour district is designed as a hybrid system where all large buildings are fundamented on the seabed, while smaller programs and public spaces float to ensure continuous contact with the water. 

Floating pier

Floating program,

wood structure

This allows public space to exist as attractive, usable areas before the consolidation of new city fabric.

The strategy allows for gradual densification, where each phase is experiences as a complete project, rather than work in progress city development. 


Related Projects