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Nothing spurs creativity as tight restrictions. And you don’t get them much tighter than an 11 meter wide footprint for a 15 story housing block. Add two towering, 16 story-buildings as next-door neighbors, and it is obvious that something extraordinary had to be invented in order to make this work. Situation The Opera Quarter is a central district in Oslo. The area is situated between the tracks of Oslo Central Station and Dronning Eufemias gate; a new avenue that will tie east and west together. Consisting of 12 buildings, the Opera Quarter will house 10 000 seats for work personnel, and 500 apartment units. All buildings are designed in accordance to the Barcode principal: long slender, high rise volumes with sightlines in between. Site plan The master plan developed for the Opera Quarter is a result of an international competition held in 2003, where the Barcode concept by MVRDV, A-lab and DARK Arkitekter was selected. Demands were set for the volumes to stretch the full length of the site, have rectangular forms and hold uniform material expressions. The building blocks come down to form an exterior grid of public passages. At street level, program organization aims to work with the overall intentions for urban life and public interaction, as shops, service and offices gives something back to the city. Asking for an exceptional outcome is the site segment occupied by MAD’s residential building: less than 30 meters wide and flanked by high-rise office buildings with dark façade appearances. Daylight coverage from Southeast is secured, however, by the stepped volume of the neighboring building east from the apartments. Regulations specify demands related to the distance between apartment windows and neighboring buildings, and set the parameters for the extreme proportions executed in the project. View more View full description
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