Housing in Bispevika
Oslo, Norway
2012 - 2020

Tran­si­tions be­tween arch­i­pel­ago and the city

The Opera House as your neighbor

Since 2000 the development of Oslo has followed the Fjord City masterplan for areas fjord waterfront. The Opera House was built according to this plan. In 2012 Vandkunsten Architects won the competition for two plots in the Bispevika area neighboring the Opera neighborhood. It is currently under construction.

The new residential area is located on the waterfront in central Oslo. Contrasting the dense and high buildings behind it, we have used characteristics  from natural archipelagos that is  a series of spatial transitions – from the open sea to the calm inland waters – and to the little rock you climb with the feeling of being the very first.


Local slate on the facade

A picture from the building site with slate on the facades and windows in wood and aluminum.

Experience living by the water

A closer relationship to the water is experienced on the new bridges and inland water that bring the water higher and closer.

Urban life on the Fjord

The plot is unique and located on the waterfront of the Oslo Fjord. It is and neighboring the magnificent Opera House with amazing views and recreational qualities. At the same time it is near the urban center and the intense density of the nearby Opera Quarters

Urban oasis

”We want to add qualities to the area of living so close to the water. In fact we raise the water level locally to bring the water closer. Our approach is quite Danish. In order to keep the complex low-rise, we built very dense and have worked intensely on the spaces between the buildings.”

– Jan Albrechtsen, architect MAA, partner

Private and public merge and separate

Several of the houses relate to the public promenade as well as a more domestic inland and calmer water surface which will become an important part of the semiprivate outdoors area for inhabitants.

Life between buildings

The neighborhood will be a destination for locals as well as tourist so the residential area has different and refined private and public zones. It should be wonderful to visit and one should feel at home in one’s own neighborhood.

Project facts


Project name: Housing in Bispevika


Client: Oslo Sentrum Utvikling A/S

Location: Oslo, Norway

Gross area: 35.000

Date: 2012 - 2020

Status: Stage 1 finished

Number of units: 300


Program: Housing

Activity: Architecture, landscape, urban space

Job type: 1. prize in competition

Construction system: Steel. concrete, wood, slate

Contact: Elena Astrid Rojas, ear@vandkunst.dk

Project group: Elena Astrid Rojas, Emma Hansson, Anders Damsgaard-Sørensen, Lars Rex Christensen, Niels Pedersen, Pernille Schyum Poulsen, Jan Albrechtsen, Thomas von der Maase, Susanne Schelde


Architect: Vandkunsten Architects