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Haptic wins Norwegian retirement housing contest

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Haptic Architects has won an international competition for a new 12,000m² elderly housing scheme in historic Drøbak, Norway

The London and Oslo-based studio defeated Snøhetta, Niels Torp, Jarmund Vigsnæs and Stein Halvorsen to win the prominent town centre commission.

Located around 30 kilometres south of the Norwegian capital – the picturesque settlement overlooking the Oslofjord is famous for its traditional timber houses, narrow streets and squares.

Haptic’s mixed-use scheme will provide additional town centre accommodation for Drøbak’s growing elderly population while also delivering new social spaces and landscaped areas.

Located at a key gateway between the suburbs and town centre – the ‘Drømmehagen’ project will include new shops and restaurants with a public square and subterranean car park.

According to a statement from the practice: ‘The apartment blocks are organised around generous outdoor spaces that work at multiple levels and link private amenity spaces with the public square and the town.

‘The shift between private and public is achieved through subtle adjustments in the landscaping and in the relationship of the architecture with the landscape.’

The competition-winning scheme also sets out to reinterpret Drøbak’s vernacular architecture in a contemporary manner

The statement continued: ‘Subtly stained wooden clad buildings, alternating pitched roofs and stone plinths draw from the form, scale, texture and colour palette of the town.

‘The apartment buildings will utilise CLT construction and employ passive design measures with renewable energy strategies to ensure the highest sustainability credentials.’

The win comes three years after Haptic won a separate contest for a new urban centre and public square in Straume on the west coast of Norway, near Bergen. The studio won a further contest for a new airport in Mo i Rana in north west Norway last year.

Project data

Architect: Haptic Architects
Landscape: SLA
Structure: Oslotre AS
Visualisations (as credited): Forbes Massie


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