What is the best way to develop an ambitious living typology as economically as possible, yet without cutting corners with respect to quality of material or design? These student apartments in Grønneviksøren, an urban development near the centre of the Norwegian city of Bergen, play with the potential of modular principles and create a solution which runs no risk of being dismissed as monotonous or inflexible.
Architect: 3RW arkitekter, Bergen, Norway
Location: Grønneviksøren, Bergen, Norway
The entire ensemble, which can accommodate 750 residents, comprises 16 completely prefabricated components grouped around two green courtyards; each block ranges from four to eight storeys in height. A public path runs between the two blocks, linking the adjacent green areas. The city centre can be reached on foot in a mere twenty minutes. The modules are of two different room depths and feature a variety of window sizes and façade surfaces. On the courtyard side, three-metre-wide access balconies connect the individual blocks and serve, along with the rooftop terraces, as informal meeting places. This modular building project, currently one of Europe’s largest, has become a lively rendezvous spot. What’s more, the project scores points for its energy efficiency. This structure’s CO? emissions are 50 % lower than those of more conventional buildings. In addition, the energy consumption should be less than 150 kWh/m² a year. The heating system is connected to local networks, and the entire prefabrication process – including all the technical installations – took place at home in Norway. Naturally, cars are not welcome on the grounds.