Rundeskogen is a wooded hill connecting three city centres on the west coast of Norway. The project is situated in an infrastructural node between three city centres on the west coast of Norway. Single-family houses and small-scale housing projects dominate this region, creating a context that accentuates the exceptional height and volume of the project. The density and concentration of the project was developed to keep a required distance from a recently discovered Viking grave on the same hillside.The three towers contain 113 units in total, ranging from 60m2 to 140m2, with the highest tower reaching 15 stories. The core construction is concrete while secondary parts are made from timber framework. Originally the three towers where designed as timber constructions. Due to the client’s desire to build in a more conventional way, this solution was replaced with hybrid concrete/timber.The emphasis has been balancing the tall building typology with generous and attractive public green spaces on the ground. To minimize the footprint of the three towers and retain a view of the fjord for neighbours, the first apartment floors have been lifted off the ground, cantilevering from the core. This creates covered outdoor spaces on ground level.The organizing element of the entire project is a star-shaped core structure of concrete, in which the fins are extended as separation walls between the flats. The prismatic shape of the plan is derived from optimizing the floor plans according to views and sun as well as the creation of diagonal views in between and around the towers. This layout gives special volumetric qualities – letting the light and shade gradually shift around the facades, an effect which is further emphasized by the triangular panels that reflect the light differently as one moves past the building. On the ground floor, the fins and bracing elements of this stem-like core spread out as roots which integrate social meeting places, play and training facilities, generous entrance halls and communal gathering spaces.Internally, each apartment has an integrated winter-garden, which has fully insulated glass facades allowing for flexible, year-round use. Other environmental features that are added include; solar collectors on the roof, heat recovery from grey water and ground source heat pumps that provide heating. Every apartment was purchased with a complementary bike and the owners given their own fruit tree in the landscaped site.
Photography © Alex de Rijke, Sindre Ellingsen