Tjuvholmen With the new building development of the harbor area completed, arises a new district in the west of Oslo: Tjuvholmen. Tjuvholmen is the continuance of the popular Aker Brygge quarter which transformed in the 80s from an industrial spot to a bustling promenade along the fjord offering a shopping mall, restaurants, offices - and apartment buildings. Four different architecture offices were given the opportunity to design the first phase of the recently completed Tjuvholmen including 6 buildings in total. MAD Architects was one of them. To find a wide range of different architecture in that area the sketch phase was hold confidential. Positioned on the back side of the fjord nestling between two other buildings in a narrow street MAD’s parcel is, compared to the neighbors the most uncomely one. The neighbor buildings have either direct sea views or are exposed on attractive corners. MAD met the challenge and designed a sculptural façade emerging particular from the side view. MAD's building starts with a shop on the first floor and continues rising to offer 49 small rental units that have the distinction of being one of the most expensive apartments in Norway, due to their exclusive location. All other apartments in the quarter are for sale. Generous floor to ceiling windows and vitreous sliding balcony doors permeate sunlight into the apartments allowing for a clear view of the spectacular surrounding area. Apartments on the upper floor have access to private roof terraces via an internal flight of stairs. From here or the mutual patio, you will enjoy a 360 degree panoramic view of Oslo, the fjord and the surrounding mountains. The façade, which in fact is composed of two distinct sides, dominates most apartments' efficient floor plans. In turn, five duplex apartments are deliberately designed to help shape the facade. Inside the units, collapsible accordion room walls allow for interconnection. This gives freedom of choice between privacy and openness in the units. From the court yard, a bright hue is used on the rather strict façade to accommodating its small size. This stands in direct contrast to the street façade where extended zigzag balconies enforce a dynamic character. The idea to use reasonable panels is bound to a tight budget not allowing using a pricy glass balcony railing as well as an expansive façade surface. Using a specialized printing technique, the seemingly simple yet artistically ornamented glass balcony railing is in fact purpose designed to simultaneously maximize privacy while not obstructing sunlight. The dense of the print is higher on the lower levels creating a further structure on the building. Ferrari red panels isolate the base of the building from the apartment levels where dark panels are used. The contrast between the two dark panels is minimal and the colors try to merge into one calm background without loosing its tension. The fusion of these details capture the main objective: permitting the building to be a copula between its two exposed neighbors while retaining its own distinct identity.


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