Text description provided by the architects. A small-housing development, eight houses in total, make up this complex situated at the edge of Oslo's suburbs and city center. The architects blended detached house, row house, and apartment concepts to create inventive row houses that could meet a range of different needs. Versatility, multiple exterior spaces, communal courtyard, submersed parking, and balconies are just some of the features. More photographs and drawings after the break.
Four two-storey patio houses, two 154 sqm and two of 130 sqm, one west-facing house of 161 sqm with veranda, and three three-storey, east-facing houses of 136 sqm with balconies.
Between the two lines of buildings lies a communal courtyard, with parking beneath, in total 1,868 sqm. All units have three outside spaces: a front garden leading to the main entrance, a back lawn, and a veranda balcony or patio, depending on the type of house. In several units a two-storey well (the patio) with glass on three sides extends upwards from the lowest level, allowing the inhabitants to appreciate the various seasons and elements accordingly, sun, rain, snow, from the indoors. One of the main goals was to ensure that light enters the houses from all angles.
The houses are built in-situ concrete, insulated and faced with narrow black-painted wooden boards, horizontal on the long facades and upright on the short facades. They rely on green energy, and 100 sqm of solar collector panels are mounted on the south-facing façade. All floors have water-borne underfloor heating system, supplemented by gas heater.
Per Kr. Monsen from Arkitektur N had the following to say about Housing Bjørnveien; "We live in peculiar times, whilst the car industry makes a great effort to appear to be environmentally friendly, architects have no answer to why their buildings consume twice as much energy as they did 20 years ago. The demands society now makes for a reduction in energy and resource consumption, has not yet filtered through to the majority of designers. Perhaps this is due to a lack of knowledge, perhaps a lack of interest or a lack of goodexamples.
The housing complex in Bjørnveien is a very successful example of high architectonic quality generated by the integration of environmentally sustainable solutions. It is on a tight and demanding site. The long, narrow patio houses are laid in a row, reducing heat loss. The three-storey balcony houses stretch up and light wells reach down to catch and distribute daylight.
The plans are general, with great possibilities for variation. The materials are modest and thermally effective, and the detailing simple. The waterbased heating system is adaptable to future energy sources. All solutions are integrated and serve several purposes; in short, an exemplary project."