Sæter Terrasse in Oslo, Norway by A-lab
A-lab has designed a new residential building in Oslo. “Sæter Terrasse” consists of 34 apartments in a new building approximately 6,500 m2 in total with 4,500 m2 above ground. This residential building is situated at an intersection, Sæterkrysset, in the Nordstrand borough in the eastern part of Oslo. The plot, which is 3,300 m2, lies on a ridge facing southwest called the “Nordstrandsplatået,” a terrain formation that rises from the lower urban areas and stretches southeast of Oslo and has very good daylight conditions and a view of the Oslofjord.
This area of Oslo, like many of the boroughs that surround the inner-city “Sentrum” area, consists mainly of lower density areas of residential housing, with municipal planning from 2004 aiming for higher densities on plots and existing buildings by communications hubs and major street intersections.
These designated higher density areas often border on low-density single or row housing and one of the major architectural challenges was to “bridge the gap” between these different typologies. A-lab worked in accordance to the 2004 planning scheme and designed this new apartment building on two former plots of single-family homes for the client, Solon Eiendom.
The project has a footprint of approximately 1,100 m2, with underground parking and a private outdoor garden, protected from the main road, Ekebergveien, by the building. The outdoor areas in the east/south enjoy daytime sun and all apartments enjoy afternoon and evening sun. Facing southeast, the site and the building gradually rise from a heights of two and three stories to five stories in the south.
The first floor has commercial space with direct street access, whereas the inhabitants of the building enter from the private gardens in the southeast and northwest. All of the apartments have private balconies and 31 of the 34 apartments enjoy views to the west and outdoor gardens in the east.
In the overall design approach, A-lab tried to plan and create apartments with good daylight conditions, a spacious inner ceiling height and plans that emphasize the views in the living zones, while sleeping and quiet zones would be away from traffic noise. A-lab also tried to take into account the different scales and density of the surrounding neighborhood by concentrating the main mass of the building along the regulated building line facing the main road and intersection and letting the mass diminish more to the north. The main façade also recedes in parts from plan 0 to plan 5.
The building consists of volumes and stories that adjust to different contexts and scale/density. By varying the distance of the vertical façades from the regulated building line towards the main road, Ekebergveien, the façade creates different vertical levels that bring down the overall scale of the building and create a series of different private outdoor areas.
The main façade materials are Alutile sandwich metal plates that allow for precise detailing and “pre-bent” corners for continuous use of the same material. The aluminum metal coating is slightly matted and reflects very well the shifting and often intense light conditions of the Nordic summer and winter, allowing the façades to reflect the dawn and sunset colors, which can vary from intense pink, dark blue, warm golden as well as a matted metallic sheen.
In contrast, the balconies are treated with a long-lasting oil/varnish that gives a uniform warm brown coloring on the sides and roof as well as the floor. This outdoor area is a continuation of the living room with large window doors spanning the entire apartment width, bringing in daylight.
The balconies, as terrace and outdoor areas, are subject to a lighting plan and have in situ designed vertical led lighting that illuminates the wooden materials on the balconies in the evening. The meeting points between the metal façade and wood are clean cut and precise. The windows and doors have a black frame, which give a uniform coloring and perception of the openings. All balcony railings are made from glass. The roof has private terraces and is otherwise covered in sedum grass that changes color with the seasons and helps regulate and bind surface water from the rain.
Completed in the spring of 2017, all residents have since moved in. Planting and the completion of the outdoor areas are set to be finished by the summer of 2017. The outdoor areas and landscaping were done by Bjørbekk & Lindheim AS.
A-lab Team: Erik Olav Marstein, Odd Klev, Luis Fonseca
Type: Housing (With commercial 1st floor)
Location: Nordstrand, Oslo, Norway
Size: Approx. 6500 m2 total (4500 m2 over ground) 34 appartments (60-180 m2)
Developer: Solon Eiendom AS, Stolt Utvikling AS
Landscape: Bjørbekk & Lindheim
Costs: € 13,1 million (including tax)