Article by Solveig Nygaard Langvad
Haugen/Zohar architects have designed apartments for local youths at Furuset, a Groruddalen neighbourhood in the district of Alna in Oslo. The client, Stiftelsen Betanien, has run a family centre on the property for years. The exisiting building, Furuhuset, now has nine apartments and a 60 sq.m. common area. Two new buildings house 27 apartments in varying sizes.
– We wanted to work on this project for three reasons, says architect Marit Justine Haugen.
– One was the ambitions for living quality. The other was the emphasis on community. The third is that it is a FutureBuilt pilot project, with a CO2 reduction of 50 percent.
The balance between new solutions and familiar ones was always under consideration, Dan Zohar explains.
– The greatest challenge might be the immaterial layer of the project: How do you create a good living community?, he asks.
The architects hope to do so by providing spaces for people to meet and interact. The buildings all face a central lawn, and all residents share a garden, a laundry room and bike workshop. The common area in Furuhuset can be used for parties, events, communal meals and other social activities.
– Our social mechanisms have been the same for 2000 years. People need to belong somewhere, and to feel proud to be part of a community, Zohar says.