Pilestredet 77-79

Innovative urban apartments and café in Fagerborg neighborhood.

The project has been developed on a very site-specific approach. It has elaborated solutions, that primarily refer to the historical context of the neighborhood of Fagerborg in Oslo. The three buildings unites tradition and innovation in a carefully reflected way and provide good homes that will help to form a qualitative neighborhood.

The project has an underground level with parking, 4 to 5 floors for a total of 59 residential units, as well as a neighborhood café which is also designed in order to create a local and inviting gathering place (meeting, afterwork, community evenings), and serves the housing complex as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. All the roofs have garden parcels and are used as attractive outdoor spaces.

Pilestredet 77-79 has been designed to combine new buildings with a historic environment in an attractive and innovative way. The plot is in a residential area surrounded by buildings from the 1800s and 1900s. Through a conscious use of situation-adapted architecture, the aim is to reinforce and develop the inherent identity of the place.

Located between 4 distinctive Oslo city neighborhoods, the three buildings acts as a specific transition in the urban fabric. Therefore, their architecture is different.

The lower two buildings (Pilestredet 79a and 79bB) have a townhouse architectural typology, which gradually withdrawn from the urban streets as they transition into the city villas with their front gardens in the historical fabric. They have the same footprint and a principle of alternately four and two apartments per plan.

The bigger volume (Pilestredet 77), designed as a city block, answers the street corner geometry. It defines the end of Fagerborg neighborhood and transition towards the trafficked urban fabric of the site. It includes six to eight apartment units per floor of different sizes and identities that ensure a complex and diverse community.

Quality and detail in all solutions are emphasized. The buildings have a site-adapted limited material palette with brick exterior. The use of hand-crafted bricks was the most important aspect of the project’s architectural facade expression. It is an historical material which can be assemble manually in a very sculptural way and defines the project’s identity. The selected bricks from Steenfabriek Klinkers have been hand-baked so that they get a very specific structure and rough texture. It is a red rustic brick with white masonry veil. Applying mortar is done with a “strolled elegance” to get the desired rustic and timeless look. The facades 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 and worthy common framework 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 a warm oak material used for the floors and ceilings as well as wrapping up the staircase.