Sognsveien Feasibility Study

Allmenningen: “a state-owned, municipal or privately owned land (forest, pasture, mountain range, street, park) where the local population have a common right of use”.

The key to a successful plan for Sognsveien is to create links between its different urban elements and tie it back to the surrounding areas – both in terms of infrastructure and site-specific features. It is within such frameworks that city life is created: occupying the in-betweens of buildings, strategically connecting to neighbours’ lots, hosting communities, feeding density and inclusive experiences, being climate-smart, green and safe. Our main focus is to create a lively district, “building” socially-sensitive relations for people of different ages, needs and backgrounds. The municipal elements (school, elderly home, kindergarten, archive, pool and sport hall) are located and designed so users overlap, in a way that emphasizes the value ​​of functional encounters and collaboration. It aims at featuring a vision for the dense city that operates in manifold ways, one that puts the life cycle of a neighbourhood in a sustainable and politically-responsible perspective.


A series of interrogations emerge from the study of both mandate and parcel. How can we create synergies with existing green networks? How can local water and natural elements create new qualities? How can we stimulate different environments for collaboration and committed social life? How can we create a neighbourhood that reduces noise problems through urban density? How can we change today’s privatized car-based area into a friendly community space? What environment do we want for tomorrow’s city centre? Can we build solidarity and co-operation in the DNA of the masterplan?

In the context of a (desired) densely populated area, we hope to put in place good outdoor areas, which constitute essential elements for a successful and attractive urban development. A welcoming, inviting and inspiring outdoor loop ties the area together and provides it with both diversity and coherence. Rich in blue and green value, it materializes the spatial link between living, recreating and working, and insures the universal accessibility in the planned public areas.

Proximity is an essential concept in the development of Sogn’s district centre. Proximity between people, between places, between the school and the city, between work and kindergarten, between the shops and the home – it must manifest in every urban and architectural gesture proposed. Proximity is wished for because it creates a contact and bring about interactions that are more social, smart, climate-friendly, ultimately attractive to most people and businesses. Good walking and cycling connections and a few well-placed car parking lots emerge as important contributors to feelings of proximity, convenience and climate-friendliness.


Every responsible urban plan now has to take the environmental question seriously. We choose to focus on a recycling strategy where the demolition of existing buildings is minimized. In light of the UN’s sustainability goals and the construction industry’s large contribution to the increase of CO2 emissions, we hope to rethink the attitude towards destruction of existing mass, and its associated “advantages”. The project seeks to make use of all or part of the architectural volumes found on site. Where parts of existing buildings are torn, these materials are incorporated as potential raw materials for new buildings. In addition to minimised ecological impacts (think of the concept of the fossil-free construction site), these interventions constitute opportunities for a large resource-economical gains for the municipality. Nature and landscape are incorporated and designed in ways that can provide new, sensuous experiences and strengthen the connections to the environment. Rainwater collection is a challenge in a compact city, but is here smartly integrated into the plan and its public spaces.

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