Bjølsen Campus Landscape
Freshness and richness in an urban context

2000–2003

Landscape Architecture

Introduction

Bjølsen campus, a student residence in Oslo, covers a city block between Maridalsveien, Holmestrandgata, Moldegata and Bergens gate. The essence of the landscape project is to connect the buildings and streets together with inner alleys, plazas, and gardens. Through high-quality materials, specially-designed outdoor furniture, water features, and lush vegetation, the landscape adds freshness and richness to its urban context, contrasting the many rough, vertical, and horizontal planes within the site. 

From an ecological, aesthetic, and pedagogical view, the water is led through open gutters to a central retention channel. Varied and durable plants and flowers are chosen for the same reasons.

Technical details

Typologies
Public Space, Master Planning, Residential
Status
Completed
Location
Oslo, Norway
Client

The Foundation for Student Life in Oslo (SiO)

Trees as natural central points

The natural meeting place of the area is the Campus, the heart of the student residence area, a plaza between the post office, the grocery store, the coffee shop, and the laundry. 

Two large solitary trees at each end of the campus establish the natural central points of the plaza. Custom benches and bike racks were designed for the Student Residence.

Stormwater management

The main attraction is the channel, 55 meters long and 3,5 meters wide. Rainwater from the rooves, streets and plazas is transported to gutters and gathered in the outstretched retention channel.

The channel holds 100 m3, withstands significant increases in stormwater, and is placed in a lush garden of plantain lilies, day lilies and irises that maintain harmony, beauty and elegance. The channel includes a swirl of goldfish, and is a popular rallying point for students.

Variety and character

The avenue of pear trees surrounds the elevated walkway between the buildings and will grow into a dramatic, green volume that will balance the high mass of construction surrounding it.

Other kinds of endemic and local trees create variety and character in the housing area. Climbers contribute vertical lushness, a summertime dark green or autumnal red contrast to the pale yellow brick facades.