The Norwegian government is revamping its headquarters in Central Oslo after it was attacked and damaged in 2011. The largest and most expensive project in the history of Norway is an equally grand celebration in the field of architecture -The project is to be designed by not one firm, but will be an amalgam of the ideas of 6 shortlisted firms along with the students of the Oslo school of architecture and design. It is only natural, that a movement of this kind rouse a rich debate amongst the architecture community.
Bjarke Ingels Group and Snøhetta have proposed three iconic towers. The BIG towers are high rise pyramids with a park in front of them. Snøhetta wishes to redesign the existing site for better circulation routes and open urban spaces at ground level.
Asplan Viak on the other hand has proposed refined high rise towers that do not overpower the existing blocks on site. They propose that the area around the towers be made into a city park with a rose garden as they want to create an iconic place and not an iconic building.
A common theme of high-rise monumental structures and green spaces has been adopted by these firms. The vision for the final master plan to be developed is to reflect democracy and openness. In that sense, high rise structures may not be the ideal solution and the same has sparked the interest of many people.
MVRDV has an unique proposal for the Oslo government quarters. They wish to build a ring of office structures along the perimeter with a rooftop garden above the offices for public use, as well as a garden inside this ring. The proposal seems humble and might just be a good idea to make the space more accessible to the public as office spaces will not overpower the site.
LPO envisions various office blocks of different heights. They have incorporated a memorial for the 22nd July, 2011 attack within the site.
However, White is striving for a place that is lively and not morose. For this purpose the urban scape as well as the buildings have been designed to become meeting spaces.
By: Sahiba Gulati