Karl Johans gate
New life for Oslo’s main boulevard


Landscape Architecture


Karl Johans gate is Oslo's main boulevard leading from the Central Station through the central shopping district and up to the Royal Palace. Snøhetta re-designed the historic streetscape to create more engaging public and green pedestrian spaces and improve stormwater management and pavement areas.

Technical details

Master Planning, Infrastructure, Public Space, Renovation & Expansion
Oslo, Norway

Oslo Municipality

10 000m2

The designers focused on enhancing the dramatic perspective of the new Karl Johans gate by reinforcing the middle solid axis. The pavement on the south side was re-finished to create a symmetrical street profile. During the day, the curbs and shadows further enforce this perspective. These lines also define all vertical elements placed on the pavement, like light- and flagpoles. At night, the perspective is highlighted through the rhythm of the streetlight poles.

More than 50 custom-made details and elements have been designed for this project. The large scale of the details reflects the importance of this project. The rainwater runoff from the Parliament and the Palace meet at the lowest point on Karl Johans gate and is then transported by drain elements designed as infrastructural sculptures, which lead the water to the underground river Bislettbekken.

Photos: Florence Morisot