A recently completed residential complex in Oslo, Norway, unites tradition and innovation in a carefully reflected way.
Pilestredet 77/79 is located in a residential area surrounded by buildings from the 1800s and 1900s. Through the conscious use of high-quality location and situation-adapted architecture, Reiulf Ramstad Architects aim to reinforce and develop the inherent identity of the place.
The housing complex is positioned between four distinctive Oslo city neighbourhoods – Fagerborg, Majorstuen, Norabakken and Stensparken – and acts as a transition in the urban fabric, which is why the architecture of the three buildings is different.
The lower buildings (Pilestredet 79a and 79b) have a townhouse architectural typology, which gradually withdraw from the street as they go up Pilestredet and are thus integrated in and create a transition to the city villas with their front gardens in Fargerborg. They have the same footprint and a principle of alternately four and two apartments for each level.
The bigger volume (Pilestredet 77) is designed as a city block and answers the street corner geometry. It defines the end of the Fagerborg neighbourhood and the more trafficated urban fabric of the site. It includes six to eight apartment units per floor of different sizes.
The lower floors have several smaller units while the higher ones contain larger apartments. There are varied offers with apartments of different sizes and identities that ensure a complex and diverse community.
Quality and detail in all solutions are emphasised. The buildings have a site-adapted limited material palette with brick exterior. According to Reiulf Ramstad Architects, the use of hand-crafted bricks was the most important aspect of the project’s architectural façades.
“It is an historical material which can be assemble[d] manually in a very sculptural way and define[s] the project’s identity. The selected bricks have been hand-baked so that they [could achieve] a very specific structure and rough texture. The façades of the new buildings celebrate long craft traditions, with handmade bricks that play on layers with modern lines, and large windows from ceiling to floor.”
The project also has prosperous and well thought internal common areas which create a positive space for the residents. Inside, there is a robust material palette where the cast in place concrete walls create a modern but timeless expression together with the warm oak floors and ceilings that also wraps up the staircase.
The project has an underground level with parking for the 59 residential units, as well as a neighbourhood café, which has been designed to create a local and inviting gathering place which can serve the housing complex as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods.
All the roofs feature garden parcels and can be used as attractive outdoor spaces.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Program: New housing with 59 apartments, café and underground parking
Client: Aspelin Ramm Eiendom AS
Commission type: Invited competition (2015) Status: Completed (2020)
Design Team: Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Photo Credits: Ivar Kvaal, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter
About Reiulf Ramstad Architects (RRA)
Over the years RRA has produced a wide range of innovative and ground-breaking projects with an exceptional variety of scale and program. They have earned a reputation for creating bold, simple architecture with a strong connection to the Scandinavian context and the impressive Scandinavian landscape in particular. Common for all their projects is that they are driven by a genuine dedication to humanist values. RRA build in both, urban and rural areas, all over Norway and recently their projects are increasingly gaining attention also outside of Norway.