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E16 Fagerstrand

Winner: Living City Living Sea

Jury remark: The jury was unanimous in awarding Living city, living sea as the winner of Fagerstrand. The proposal addresses both Fagerstrand’s past as an important industrial node along the Oslo fjord, and the current discourse on how to densify in communities with a rural identity.

The proposed building typologies densify the site, while relating to the scale and distribution of the existing fabric and the remaining oil tanks. The free standing apartment buildings provide air, light and views of the sea and propose a collective form combined with the qualities of living in a villa.  The connection between the sea and the centre is solved elegantly, utilising the landscape to reduce the steepness of the slope and proposing a green connection that neatly puts nature in “the centre” as stressed by the brief. 


Living city, living sea successfully addresses a range of larger regional issues and local challenges in a bold and convincing manner as it combines programs for small scale production that takes advantage of the existing infrastructure, measures to preserve marine life, the role of this development in the regional setting while retaining a flexible urban structure that extends local identities and developing Fagerstrand as one place with a unique identity. 

The jury does not find the move of directing traffic underground in the centre very convincing, and would like to see further investigations into the outdoor spaces between the proposed houses. These shortfalls do not reduce the impact of the overall concept.  Living city, living sea approached the brief and site in depth and succeeded in presenting a project that couples visionary and innovative qualities with realistic implementation.


Sanden+Hodnekvam Architects

John Sanden (NO), architect

Ingvild Hodnekvam (NO), architect

Mats Heggernæs (NO), architect


Digital Exhibition:

See Living city, living sea, and all the other entries for Fagerstrand here;

Fagerstrand Digital Exhibition

Runner up: Once upon a time in Forestrand

Jury remarks: Once upon a time in Forestrand takes a new approach to architecture: Form follows fiction. Taking the brief’s challenge of making a place where nature is in the centre head on, the team explores the issues related to representing and planning for non-human species. They identify the need for fiction as a programmatic tool in shaping a hybrid landscape responding to both human and non-human needs.

The team proposes islands of development in limited parts of the landscape, responding to a good understanding of the topography as well as Fagerstrand’s rural identity. The project’s approach deals with biodiversity in a comprehensive way, reducing barrier effects and successfully establishing a vibrant centre for Fagerstrand by the strategic placement of programs and altering the road to make an intersection. The development strategy ensures green corridors and clusters of settlements conducive of creating good human communities. The stripe concept reinterprets the idea of the high street to create a path of urbanity connecting the school, centre, hill and the seaside where most of the existing buildings are kept and given cultural programs.

Where Once upon a time in Forestrand really stands out is in its enthusiastic approach to Fagerstrand as a place in nature, and successfully communicating the massive potential of the concept in producing a unique hybrid community for everyday life.


Xabier Montilla (ES), Building engineer

Paula Fernández San Marcos (ES), Urbanist

Saray Ossorio Hernández (ES), Landscape architect


We are a multidisciplinary team of architects educated in Madrid, with international experience in
Austria and Denmark. Each member of the team has a specific background, which brings value to
our approaches from the specificity of the architectural landscape approaching, sustainable
urbanism, construction and design. The diversity of our practice starts from the same ecological and
environmental sensitivity, the renaturalization of life forms and their biodiversity, research in
typology and architectural materiality; in other words, the paradigmatic spectrum that explores new
urbanities away from the strictly productive.
The narrative and integral vision that we seek in our projects crosses scales and categories, from the
everyday object to urban planning or theoretical speculation through the garden, operating in
different working formats that include the exhibition, the collaborative, private practice and
university teaching.