|Address||Gustav Vigelands Vei/Prinsesseallčen|
|Building Type||Slab, gallery access|
|Number of Dwellings||299|
|Dwelling Types||1,3 bra. flats, 2-3br. maisonettes|
|Section Type||skip-stop gallery|
|corrugated metal, metal windows, wood doors|
|Construction Type||R-C frame|
|Ancillary Services||below grade parking, balconies|
Built on a narrow hilly site just west of the center of Oslo, this colorful group of 300 apartments is an example of a project built by a housing cooperative, the Oslo Housing and Savings Society. The cooperative movement in Norway dates from the 1920's and was started in response to working class housing needs. The OBOS was modeled after the Swedish housing co-op building association the HSB. Like the HSB, the OBOS finances and builds housing for its members.
Casinetto is on a long narrow site which opens to a beautifully landscaped public park on one side and a row of existing houses on the other. The three and five story buildings are arranged with the taller buildings along the park and the lower next to the houses. This allows more sunlight to penetrate the spaces between buildings and reduces the scale of the new buildings to fit better with the existing single family houses. Cars are parked beneath the buildings and thus kept out of the site so that there is continuous pedestrian space between the two undulating rows of buildings. A combination of one and two bedroom flats and maisonettes are arranged along open galleries along the pedestrian walk. Open stairs provide access to the upper galleries while the ground floor dwellings have private entrances. The mix of flats and maisonettes in section plus the random use of balconies and bay windows results in lively facades which are both repetitive and chaotic thus avoiding the stereotypical housing appearance. The typical section is extruded into a series of interlocking bent forms that define entrance areas and loosely enclosed courtyards between slabs. The discontinuous quality of the separate segments, the varying heights, the overhanging pitched roofs, the corrugated horizontal metal siding and the bright primary colors further discourage modernist housing imagery. These are not small buildings--on the high side they are nearly 7 floors tall--but the impression is of buildings nestled beneath a lush canopy of foliage.
Johan Ditlef Martens, Norwegian Housing, Norsk Arkitekturforlag, Oslo, 1993, p. 62-3