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Sørenga Central Park and Harbor Promenade

designed by /

Location: Norway / Oslo / Type: Installations / Parks / Waterfronts / Built: 2017 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on May 22, 2019

Grindaker: The Sørengautstikkare was developed during the 20th century and was until 2009 a container port. In the past ten years, the area has been developed to become part of the new district of Bjørvika. The master plan shows housing blocks that are structured around an elongated central park. Streets and canals divide the blocks across, with all of the buildings overlooking the access road and park on one side, and the sea on the opposite side. There will be minimal through traffic in the area as the zoning plan does not provide for parking related to public spaces and parks. In the design of the park, the inspiration was the distinctive geological history of the Inner Oslo fjord. A «faultline», or one continuous edge of natural stone divides the park into two levels. The upper level references the base of a mountain with its lush vegetation and landforms. The lower level represents the Oslofeltet, a geological layer, and is planted with different types of groundcover and scattered vegetation. The length of the park is divided into three zones, two of these are used by a kindergarten during the day. All of the park’s areas will be accessible to the public during the evening and on weekends. These three park areas are connected visually with cohesive materials and vegetation. Robust and long-lasting materials were used, such as natural stone and wood. The central park has elements of interest for visitors of all ages, in the evenings and daytime, and in the summer as well as winter. The park is flexible and allows for different use of the areas, surfaces and different elements. Grindaker has participated in the project from concept sketches to completed construction. The firm has been responsible for the central park, and prepared a working base for the southern harbor promenade and planting plan for Sørenga Sjøbad swimming area.

Vegetation in the fjord park provides a wind screen, has a space-forming effect and gives aesthetic qualities to Sørenga throughout the year. Grass lawns encourage socializing and sunbathing; while trees, shrubs, perennials and meadow plants provide the wind screen and create rooms of vegetation. The planting in the park was chosen for hardiness, function and program; and adapted to the concept that draws inspiration from the natural foundation of the Inner Oslo fjord. On the lower part of the fault, species are planted to resemble a dry calcareous grassland based on sedimentary rocks where the Oslofeltet sank, such as pine and meadow plants, which grow on shallow limestone soil. On the upper level, which illustrates the bedrock, deciduous trees were planted on terrain forms with shrubs to provide a more lush planting. All of the plants chosen are also tolerant saline tolerant as well as being robust in terms of wear and tear from play, the latter being particularly important near the playgrounds.

A temporary art installation called DeFence was installed from 2012-13 and located in the Sørenga Sentral Park. The artists Vigdis Storsveen and Christine Istad worked in cooperation with Sørenga Utvikling and funding from the Norwegian Art Council. The installation DeFence consisted of a square cube of 4x4x4 meters with walls reinforced by mesh and turf. The work followed the different phases of the seasons throughout a year and a half. Future residents and area schools participated in the planting and installation of the project and community workshops. The artists also collaborated with Bioforsk, a research institute with expertise in agriculture, food production, plant health, environment and resource management. More info about the project at

Landscape architect: Grindaker
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Artists Vigdis Storsveen and Christine Istad, Havnepromenaden and Sjøbadet designed by LPO Arkitekter og Kristine Jensen
Project Location: Oslo, Norway
Design year: 2009
Year Built: 2011-2017

All Photos: Damian Heinisch

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