• COMPETITION PLAN - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • COMPETITION DIAGRAM - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • COMPETITION MODEL - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • COMPETITION MODEL - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • COMPETITION PERSPECTIVE - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • DEVELOPMENT - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
    DEVELOPMENT   6/11
  • DEVELOPED PLAN - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • DEVELOPED AERIAL - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • DEVELOPED AERIAL - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • HOTEL DEVELOPMENT - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects
  • HOTEL DEVELOPMENT - Filipstad Ferry Terminal - SPOL Architects

Filipstad Ferry Terminal

A Site on the Edge, Connected to the World

By definition, the post-industrial site is isolated from the urban fabric, scale and natural flow of the adjacent city. At the same time it offers ideal connections to all types of infrastructure – and to the larger context, the world. It is this condition that provides the biggest challenge and offers the greatest opportunity.

The implementation of a new, dynamic, urban structure and program requires a careful suture back into its surrounding context. We propose a conceptual re-stitching of the waterfront deep into the existing public life and nodes of the city through the creation of an urban neighbourhood with its own strong identity and character.

Diverse programming, careful phasing, and strategic priorities sensitive to uncertainties and change; fixed and variable conditions; complementary rather than competitive in its contribution to the city.

This dual condition of isolation and hyper-connectivity offers a new freedom in its relationship to the city. Found within the history of Filipstad, is a uniqueness of structure, scale, typology, morphology, program, and relationship to the natural/ artificial landscape combined with a super rational logic of land use, infrastructure, and internal organization.
The apparent invisibility of the site has allowed this uniqueness to exist and evolve with its own raw beauty and strong character, thus avoiding the stylistic judgment controlling the rest of the city.

There is no original ‘urban fabric’ or even original ‘site’. The activities, program, and conditions found at Filipstad are truly exceptional. The territoralization of Filipstad depends upon visionary solutions to the infrastructural obstacles that compose the site. Filipstadís inherited freedoms offer a rare opportunity to reinterpret and create a new, strong, fresh identity.


New urban frontier

The new Filipstad will become the frontier of the city; the only real experience of surface arrival into the centre of Oslo; leaving suburbia behind. To achieve the status as an independent neighborhood and sub centre of Oslo, a strong distinction from suburban sleepiness must be a consistent focus. New housing developments in central Oslo have the increasing tendency of contributing to the suburbanization and privatization of the city. Named ‘-park’ or ‘-garden’, these areas are defined by characteristics most often found in gated communities such as; mono programming, control, the perception of security, and predictability – none of which resemble qualities of the urban. The exclusive character of this market is mainly available to the white upper middle class at the age of retirement, returning from suburbia and bringing their suburban values with them. Proximity to coffee bars and cultural institutions are not enough to create a dynamic urban condition. A ‘total design’ leaving nothing untouched, unknown, or open for interpretation – is also a static solution. The city needs diversity and space to evolve.

Equally alarming is the evacuation of big and unique programs from the inner city; expos, universities, stadiums, sports facilities, terminals and even headquarters are, by current market conditions and a preference for easy car access, being driven out of the city.

At Filipstad, we have an opportunity to bring diversity back.

Filipstad provides the location, critical mass, momentum and opportunity to make a change. Demographic diversity, programmatic density, multicultural openness, and space for future interpretation and new uses will be secured. A focus on public territory, accessibility, inclusive free facilities, and typological diversity for live and work is the core of our strategy.

24 hour activity is supported by mixed programming, integration of school, kindergarten, market, super gym, hotel, park, beach, skating rink and other leisure activities. A place where tourists, kids, businessmen, kiters, ferryboat travellers, the rich, beach bums, middle class families, senior citizens, immigrants and students will have a reason and desire to be.



    S park – from Solli plass to beach – surfing infrastructure.
    A physical manifestation of friction and flows. A speculative public space where uses are mutable and open – a place for meetings and exchange. The park, in its various reactive formulations, provides short cuts, area orientation, and maximum interface with new urban structure while organizing Filipstad into a series of sub sites that are characterized by solar, topographical, typological, geographical, and programmatic conditions. By organizing the site into sub sites, the park defines specific areas and becomes the connective tissue that unites the global and local scales.
    The terminal reorganizes the current infrastructural sprawl. The new terminal can be developed while the existing terminal is still in operation and is equipped for a parallel ferryboat scheme that liberates the southwest corner of the site for the development of housing and high quality public space.
    The stacked highway and boulevard minimizes site impact and structural efforts while ‘ecologizing’ infrastructure. As a result, new opportunities for parking and housing typologies arise out of this topographical shift.
    ‘The new Filipstad will have a strong presence in terms of form and content, yet will remain discrete in massing. The nature of this ‘hidden’ industrial site is reinterpreted through the ‘invisible’ envelope that exploits the blind spots and view lines into, through, over, and out of site.
    The freedom provided by the artificiality of the existing site creates an opportunity for a reinterpretation of the landscape. The Norwegian terrain exploits unique site potentials and gives new identities and difference to the neighbourhoods. We inhabit the landscape through new ways of living and integrate infrastructure into this topography, blurring the relationship between object and field.
    Strategically located ‘Urban mediators’ charge the new public territory –  Ensuring the necessary critical mass and mixed use for frictions and difference while avoiding the suburban ‘silence’ found in many recent development.


  • Hotel 32,700 m2 / 120 meters tall
  • 777 rooms
  • Conference 4,000 m2
  • Total Filipstad Banana 78,500 m2

Situated on the waterfront in the Oslo fjord Filipstad will be developed as unique new location in the city combining living, business, entertainment, tourism, transport and leisure in one new neighborhood on the waterfront of Oslo. The new hotel is situated between the beautiful Norwegian nature of Bygdoy and closely connected to the city center with Aker Brygge and the city hall within walking distance.

The opening of Filipstad, a post-industrial site connecting Oslo to the world, provides
a unique opportunity of starting from scratch – open, interconnected, and intelligent. Inherent in Filipstad is a uniqueness of structure, scale, typology, morphology, program, and artificiality, existing as a raw beauty devoid of the stylistic judgments controlling the rest of the city.



The Banana is one step towards generating change for the Filipstad with new boundaries, and new opportunities for public access and private development. Filipstad provides the location, critical mass and opportunity for change ñprogrammatic density, demographic and typological diversity (adaptive to changing market demands), multicultural openness, and space for future interpretation. The liberation of the south west corner, facing Bygd¯y and the Fjord, offers a prime site for the new hotel development.

The design for the Banana screens off the terminal activities and combines collectivity and individuality in one form. Separate volumes combined to minimize redundancy while retaining an íaddressí and clear, recognizable form.



The hotel and conference facility is the tour de force, a “Guggenheimí” spiral growing out of a strong, stone base, reaching 120m in height. The hotel is derived through a language of bands, a stretched orange peel, twisting and turning to take advantage of the amazing site location: park and islands at the base, and 360 degree views above. Arranged in a single layer around a spectacular central atrium ñ all rooms have amazing views to the fjord and city. Entry to the facility is under a fold in the artificial landscape, a deep curvaceous crevice, serving both conference and hotel. To the west, the hotel steps down to meet the sea ñ an amphitheater and park.

Site: Oslo, Norway Status: 1st prize 2005-6, under regulation plan. Programs: Ferry terminal, 400 rooms hotel, sports facilities, shopping and offices in a first phase of development. Areas: 90.000m² Cost of construction: NA Client: Oslo Havn KF / Oslo harbour

Illustrations by Space Group for Detailed Regulation Plan for Ferry Terminal and bordering urban development. The program includes retail, offices, housing, kindergarten, super-gym, and a 33 storey conference hotel.





Urban redevelopment of former container harbour and train depot. 30ha site including new ferry terminal, hotel, offices, housing, school, facilities, new urban beach, park and reorganization of traffic patterns


1st prize competition 2005-06, currently under regulation planning


Space Group

Partner in charge

Adam Kurdahl

Project manager

Jens Noach / Anne Wodstrup


Adam Kurdahl, Gary Bates, Gro Bonesmo, Jens Noach, Ines Almeida, Fredrik Krogeide, Mirza Mujezinovic, Tim Prins, Jeremy Richey, Lotte Sponberg, Anne Wodstrup

Landscape architect

West 8




MIR AS (competition), DIIZ (regulation)

Urban, Hotel