12. December 2012 / Robert Schäfer
Oslo – an underestimated city
Out now: Oslo. A Guide to New Landscape Architecture (please order here: deal[at]toposmagazine.com):
Oslo is now one of the most noticeably growing capital cities in Europ. Migration to the city from the hinterland is continuing although the government promises a high standard of living no matter where people live in this long and narrow country. Yet the Norwegians love the expanse of their home country, the mountains and the sea. Up until the 1980s every urban dweller fled the city on weekends to go sailing, hiking or skiing – everyone went touring to recharge their batteries before returning to work in the city. With the transformation of the port at Akerbrygge into a residential area and place for eating out people started turning towards the city for the very first time.
Tjuvholmen. Photo: Bjørbekk & Lindheim
The Norwegians began to discover urbanity. Whilst 40 years ago there was only a single café with outdoor seating, Oslo is now hardly distinguishable from any other city further south. An ever greater number of tourists travel to this northern country and experience a vibrant urban culture. Open space is very important. First and foremost is the opera house designed by Snøhetta, which is not only a cultural building, but also an urban open space. Next to the opera house the River Acker flows into the Baltic Sea. The entire steep descent down from the Maridalsvann freshwater reservoir has been transformed into an extravagant green space. The former factories are now occupied in various forms by companies, residents, museums and institutes.
Opera house by Snøhetta. Photo: Snøhetta
Oslo’s main traffic artery, Karl Johan, between the station and the castle, was completely refurbished for the city’s anniversary a few years ago. Walking along the street offers many opportunities for detours into squares, courtyards, parks and promenades, all of which have been newly designed in the past decade. Tram, metro and bus routes provide connections to all the other open spaces in the city. The Guide to New Landscape Architecture lists Oslo’s most beautiful sites and shows how to get there with ease.
Sørenga. Photo: Jan Bernigeroth
A Guide to New Landscape Architecture
Jan Bernigeroth, Annegret Dietze-Schirdewahn
Introduction by Ola Bettum
80 pages, 14 x 23 cm, 19.95 euros
Please order here: deal[at]toposmagazine.com