Georgernes Verft – Housing and urban development


Torstein Skauge

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The housing complex is centrally located in Bergen on the site of a former shipyard, by the sea.

There are 10 blocks of 4-6 storeys, with a parking garage running under the buildings.The average size of the 151 apartments is 90 square metres. They are of varying sizes and ensure a wide variety of residents. The site is an excavated quayside shelf set against a steep rock face. The site and building concept resulted in a wide variety of building layouts. In addition, this is intended to provide the best possible views between the buildings towards the sea and the park.

The outdoor spaces include squares, courtyards, a quayside promenade and pedestrian pathways linking the project to the Nordnes park. These outdoor areas are designed to have a public character, whilst creating a clear difference between public and private zones (landscape architect: Smedsvig AS). Area: 20,000 sqm.

In 2008, the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment (Norway), made a study on 27 new housing projects in four major Norwegian cities with regard to the children`s and young people`s childhood environment. Only three projects got the characterization ”model project”. Georgernes Verft was one of those.

Environmental issues in the project:

  • Area and transport - environmental urban structure
  • Green spaces - park and green area
  • Indoor environment - clean construction methods, balanced ventilation
  • Reduction of energy consumption: water based floor heating, heat recovery, energy efficiency, automated system
  • Renewable energy: sea based heatpump
  • Social aspects: attractive arenas and meeting points
  • Waste and drainage systems: source separation, compost



  • Georgernes Verft received the Housing and Planning award in 2002 as a successful transformation of a former marine site into housing with high quality architecture and outdoor space. The focus on energy saving and resource use was also commended in the award.
  • In 2003 the project also received the Environmental award of the Federation of Norwegian Housing Associations (NBBL).

The project is published in Byggekunst/Arkitektur N, (The Norwegian Journal of Architecture) 05/2003.

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