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How housing policies have affected housing architecture

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1 How housing policies have affected housing architecture
Social Housing in Oslo since 1945

2 Romsås Ammerud Ullernåsen Marienfryd Lambertseter Holmlia
This presentation explores how politics and product interact, using several case-studies of social housing provisions of Lambertseter, Ammerud, Romsås, Hallagerbakken and Marienfryd as built examples of housing policies within the Norwegian welfare state between since 1945. Lambertseter Holmlia Sources: B. Ascher

3 Even if Oslo was not as affected by the destructions caused by the Second World War as were the northern parts of the country, where bombing and “scorched earth tactics” destroyed whole towns, the region faced a severe housing shortage. The standstill of building activities during the war, a need for replacement of dwellings of poor housing standard, and a growing demand for homes as a consequence of the massive immigration into the Oslo region from rural areas resulted in a serious shortage of salubrious housing. The shortage forced all political parties to actively address housing as one of the main topics in their programs and encouraged the Norwegian government and municipalities to engage heavily in housing production. Housing, as a ‘social right for all’, thus became one of the key objectives of the emerging welfare state, and was promoted as a long-term solution for the nation’s security and prosperity. Sources: Reiersen, E., Thue, E. & Jensen, L.-A. (eds.) 1996. De tusen hjem, Oslo: Ad notam Gyldendal. Sjølie, M Sosial boligbygging i Norge , Oslo, Norsk arkitekturmuseum.

4 In this process the notion of universalism, state benefits available for everyone, has been a founding principle of social justice and social security of citizenship in Norway. Consequently resources that were invested by the welfare state after the war were not directed towards the poor, but were meant to serve the needs of all people, independent of social background. The notion of universalism was widespread in the whole of Scandinavia and often referred to as the key characteristic of the Scandinavian Model, or social-democratic welfare state regime, gaining the reputation for providing wealth, equality, and democracy, described by Danish sociologist Gøsta Esping-Andersen in his seminal book The three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (Esping-Andersen 1990). Esping-Andersen emphasizes the focus on the strong relationship between the individual citizen and the state in a system of universal welfare provision. This became one of the guiding principles in the planning of new housing areas in the post-war period by introducing collective facilities and public services as key elements that would ensure the creation of communities, which were not entirely based on family networks. This sociological objective, supplemented the hygienic and psychological concerns that previously had been translated into building codes for social housing. Sources: Reiersen, E., Thue, E. & Jensen, L.-A. (eds.) 1996. De tusen hjem, Oslo: Ad notam Gyldendal.

5 These factors have been one of the main areas of study during the war years. The extensive survey ‘People and Homes’, mennesker og boliger, on the living conditions in Oslo conducted by psychiatrists, psychologist, kindergarden teachers, doctors, architects and engineers of the Oslo Byes Velforeningen (Brochmann et al. 1948), influenced the prevailing ideals of the quality of social housing that the government needed to provide. Most of the architects thus agreed with Jacob Christie Kielland, chairman of the survey and later head of the building department, who wrote in 1945 in the first issue of Byggekunst published after the war: ‘It would be worse if the reconstruction should be based on plans, that do not provide a usable basis for a modern, democratic society.’ (Kielland 1945, p. 10), thus encouraging architects to use design as a means to translate the political ideals into built environments. In this new ideology housing was defined as a social right that should be available to all citizens (Sørvoll 2011), which was a major change in the housing system, that so far, based on market- forces, had provided good and spacious homes for those who could afford them, while leaving the great majority to be content with less well-appointed homes. As a solution, a socially balanced building program Gode boliger for alle ‘good homes for all’, that aimed at providing satisfactory dwellings for as many people as possible, was introduced. Sources: Brochmann, O., Waal, N.,Størmer, F. & Anonsen, C. 1948. Mennesker og boliger, Oslo, Cappelen.

6 The foundation of Husbanken, the State Housing Bank, as an instrument to finance social housing, bears witness to this. The State Housing Bank guaranteed the desired universal access to housing by granting loans to all citizens and housing associations that were willing to accept its conditions. The conditions included, for instance, requirements of minimum standards as well as restrictions on maximum standards such as materials and living areas. By 1980 more than 80% of the post-war housing stock in Norway had been financed by the State Housing Bank (Reiersen et al. 1996) The double role of the State Housing Bank as a national institution that both financed and ensured the quality of dwellings is remarkable. Especially in the early years when the need for a definition of standards for architectural quality fuelled the discussion about what were considered appropriate housing standards. The discussion about what was considered good housing generally demanded measureable guidelines and standards in order to be assessed. Building standards and room sizes became the main measure of quality in housing, even in a climate where the ambition was to build the best homes within the given financial limitations, and the continuous improvement of designs and processes was considered a collective task that involved architects, planners politicians and the public (Hansen & Guttu 2000) Sources: Reiersen, Elsa, E.Thue, and L. Jensen, eds. De Tusen Hjem: Den Norske Stats Husbank Oslo: Ad notam Gyldendal, 1996; Byggekunst 1950

7 Municipalities like Oslo supported social housing by providing access to building plots as well as subsidies to housing co-operatives like OBOS, the Oslo Housing and Savings Association. During the early years following the Second World War and the heydays of social housing in the 60s, the budget, which Oslo dedicated to housing, remained more or less stable in terms of percentage of the total municipal budget. These subsidies were later significantly reduced from the 70s on, illustrating the shift from a universal approach to housing provision to a policy that aimed at selective groups, such as old or disabled people who had difficulties in competing in the housing market (Annaniassen & Bengtsson 2006; Lund 2000; Reiersen et al. 1996). In contrast to its Scandinavian neighbors Norway´s governmental housing policy of sosial boligpolitikk, were based on an ideal of ‘owning one’s own house’ – either individually or collectively (Lund 1988). This specific approach has previously be explained as a reaction to failures in the rental market in earlier decades, where owners were profiting from the poor living condition of the their tenants. (Annaniassen 2006) As a result large-scale social housing was mostly organized as housing-cooperatives, where members would either have occupancy rights of a dwelling, or be waiting to gain those rights as members of the same organization. This solidarity was especially evident in the early years when part of the construction and maintenance process was carried out as dugnad, collective voluntary community work (Annaniassen 1991). Sources: Bjørnsen, Bjørn, and Anne-Kristine Kronborg. Hele Folket I Hus: Obos Oslo: Gaidaros, 2009.

8 In Oslo this new cooperative housing was not only provided within the original city borders, but after the political climate enabled a merger with the surrounding municipality, Aker, a unique opportunity was created to built new communities from scratch, especially on newly acquired farmland. A series of satellite towns along newly built railway lines were thus planned according to a new general plan for the whole city. These settlements were supposed to be more than dormitory towns, based on the notion of creating healthy modern neighborhoods with a variety of shared public facilities, common spaces, public services and easy access to nature. (Benum 2002) Sources: Generalplan for Oslo: Et Utkast Lagt Fram Som Diskusjonsgrunnlag .. Oslo: Oslo reguleringsvesen, 1950.

9 Lambertseter is the earliest example of the urban developments that were built under conditions of very limited resources (Brochmann 1958; Spjudvik 2007). But many other settlements followed. In the early years and until 1960 a total amount of housing units had been built mostly on the eastern and south-eastern outskirts of the city, on this map from 1962 indicated in red. (Lund 2000). Sources: Oslo Kommune Og Boligbyggingen: En Beretning Om Oslo Kommunale Boligråds Virksomhet Oslo: Oslo kommune, Boligrådet, 1962.

10 Lambertseter, the new housing area south east of central Oslo, was built in 1949 by the Oslo Housing and Savings Association as part of the state program for housing called ‘good housing for all’. The layout was based on a master plan by the Norwegian architect Frode Rinnan, well known as the ‘House Architect of the Labor party’ and author of the plan for the 1952 Oslo Olympics. His scheme for the area was inspired by both the German tradition of urban planning and the English garden city movement (Spjudvik 2007). The organizational form was cooperatives in independent neighborhoods consisting of three-five storey blocks, and was supposed to strengthen the idea of the new social-democratic society. The order of the plan was based on a hierarchical organization in four levels on a first level were common playgrounds in front of the kitchen window, on the second level the neighborhood with playing fields for older children and a local shop, on the third level the vicinity center with schools and day care, youth club and kindergarden and traffic station would serve 4-6 neighborhoods with different typologies. On the fourth level the community center with municipal service buildings, a church, more varied shops, offices, hotels and high schools was planned as a district center for the whole satellite town. (Haslum 2008, p. 169; Rolfsen 1950) Sources: Rinnan, Frode. Lambertseter 1958: OBOS, 1958.

11 As a result 3300 housing units, most of them three or four storeys housing blocks were grouped in 14 neighborhoods or hamlets around carefully preserved and landscaped greenspaces. Compared to later developments these earlier satellites towns are characterized by their relatively small scale and traditional building. The use of non-prefabricated building materials made standardization and mass-production unnecessary and gave an opportunity to design housing individually.(Haslum 2008, p. 170) Sources: Rinnan, Frode. Lambertseter 1958: OBOS, 1958.

12 The majority of apartments consisted of two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a storage room. The architecture was intentionally kept modest, but represented a significant raise of standards compared to the overcrowded, badly insulated, lacking bathrooms and warm water flats of inner-city Oslo at that time (Bjørnsen & Kronborg 2009). Sources: Rinnan, Frode. Lambertseter. Oslo: I kommisjon: Cappelen, 1950.

13 The minimal dimensions of the apartments required both functional apartment layouts as well as smart furniture solutions. This led to an active promotion in interior exhibitions and publications of modern furniture design that was flexible, multifunctional and inexpensive, as illustrated here with an article in Bonytt on the exhibition “boligutstilling 12 riktige” that displayed “12 right” ways to furnish an apartment. (Reiersen et al. 1996). Sources: Moen, Hanne Helliesen. "Boligutstillingen "12 Riktige"- En Forbrukers Syn På Den." Bonytt (1950):

14 Compared to the existing housing stock, the new apartments were designed with a focus on a modern life style of a nuclear family, as envisioned in the painting by Norwegian painter Arne Stenseng from 1957. The kitchen, for instance, was often facing outdoor playgrounds, so the housewife could keep an eye on her offspring while cooking. Social life was supposed to evolved around shops, collective functions such as shared laundry facilities, and a variety of sports facilities, such as skiing facilities for all age groups. Lambertseter housed people in its heydays and is still a popular living area for inhabitants (Spjudvik 2007). The drop in population is impressive and sure sign of rising space standards, which are indicative of higher disposable incomes. Sources: Painting by Arne Stenseng, 1957 In: Reiersen, E., Thue, E. & Jensen, L.-A. (eds.) 1996. De tusen hjem, Oslo: Ad notam Gyldendal.

15 Not many years after they were finished, the early satellite towns were criticized, influenced by the English debate of the ‘malady of the new town’. As stated by the ‘committee for city design’, tilsynsrådet for byen utseende, after a visit to several new housing projects in 1954: ‘The committee got the impression that the restrictions- how they are applied at the moment- are so tight that they do not give any space for architectural phantasy.’ (Tilsynsrådet for Byens Utseende 1954, p. 173) This critique of the early social housing projects and their aesthetic monotony was paired with a critique on the lack of community sense they produced. When in 1950 sanitary and social problems were still conceived as related to high densities a shift had occurred and social critique was now directed at too low densities, lack of activities and service facilities and job possibilities, especially for woman, that were now considered a viable part of the workforce. As a result intimate social neighborhoods were abandoned as an unrealistic ideal – both socially and economically. This change of opinion followed the international modernist discourse that called for increase in density to avoid sprawl and to achieve richer social environments.(Haslum 2008, p. 173) as housing estates from the 1960s bear witness. Sources: Guttu, Jon. "Drabantbyen Som Skyteskive.” Fremtid for fortiden, no. 3/4 (2002).

16 Nonetheless housing cooperative were still the main actor for housing provision for the municipalities. The second example of Ammerud planned in the early 1960s illustrates the influence of this growing demand for technical innovation and demand for efficiency in the building industry from a different perspective. Prefabrication of concrete elements, that were pieced together at site made it possible to produce housing in what was considered a fast and cheap manner and in large numbers (Kronborg 2003) in large scale projects. Sources: Benum, Edgeir. "Byens "Kjempeprogram" – Utbyggingen Av Groruddalen." Fremtid for fortiden, no. 3/4 (2002).

17 Ammerud was designed by the Norwegian architect Håkon Mjelva, a member of the progressive architecture group PAGON, the Norwegian CIAM branch, that had been strongly influenced by the international tendencies of iconic large-scale housing projects. He conceived Ammerud as a purely dormitory town consisting of terraced houses with contrasting high-rise blocks and low-rises, some of them in long terraces, and provided with a local center at the subway station. Although a train station was opened in 1966, most of the planning in the area paid tribute to the emerging car-culture of that time (Haslum 2008, p. 174; Kronborg 2003) Sources: Sæterdal, Hansen. Ammerud 1. Vol. 58. Oslo: Instituttet, 1969; Mjelva, Håkon. "Ammerudenga - Ammerudfaret.” Byggekunst (1970).

18 Altogether 246 housing units in low-rise blocks, 1245 apartments in high-rise blocks to the west and 236 homes in atrium-houses to the north of a rather flat field of agricultural land were built. The neighborhood of Ammerudlia being the biggest ever housing project built in Norway with 984 units located in 4 high-rise buildings with up to 13 storeys (Tvedt et al. 2010). Sources: Sæterdal, Anne, and Thorbjørn Hansen. Ammerud 1. Vol. 58. Oslo: Instituttet, 1969.

19 The spatial idea of grouping several building as ‘hamlets’ as in Lambertseter were left out as a hierarchical level, replacing them with larger areas of identical buildings, such as atrium houses and high rises. In order to achieve aesthetical variation these building typologies were placed in a way so they could visually contrast each other. (Haslum 2008, p. 173). Best experienced from a birds eye perspective. Outdoor spaces between the buildings were kept wide and open, as undifferentiated communal outdoor spaces, complemented by balconies as their clearly defined private counterpart. Sources: Sæterdal, Hansen. Ammerud 1. Vol. 58. Oslo: Instituttet, 1969; Mjelva, Håkon. "Ammerudenga - Ammerudfaret.” Byggekunst (1970).

20 Due to requirements for efficiency of the size of the concrete parts and the placements of the crane tracks for assembly the flats got deeper, with less façade-length per apartment. As a result kitchens, bathrooms and other secondary rooms were placed in the middle without direct openings for sunlight or ventilation. Sources: Sæterdal, Anne, and Thorbjørn Hansen. Ammerud 1. Vol. 58. Oslo: Instituttet, 1969.

21 The way in which these new housing projects were designed and built became more and more subject to criticism. The Ammerud report by Thorbjørn Hansen and Anne Sæterdal from 1969, describing the problems of the large-scale housing projects with a lack of public facilities and difficult access to work places, started a critical discussion on how social housing had to be changed to fulfill the needs of users (Hansen & Sæterdal 1970); a criticism fueled by the international political climate of the 1968 movements and their call for more democracy and focus on ecology. The State Housing Bank took up the discussion and started using its influence by refusing loans to large-scale high-rise housing projects, which did not focus on the living conditions of its inhabitants (Hansen & Guttu 2000; Reiersen et al. 1996). The absence of discussions about user needs in the earlier processes is indeed striking and could be explained by the self-appointed role of the modern movement, which was to educate the user how to dwell rather than respond to the way users appropriate their dwelling spaces. Sources: Sæterdal, Anne, and Thorbjørn Hansen. Ammerud 1. Vol. 58. Oslo: Instituttet, 1969.

22 Although a follow-up of the Ammerud-report focusing on interviews with inhabitants actually revealed a surprisingly positive attitude of the owners towards their homes (Guttu 2002, p. 66) and not everyone agreed with the ‘ultrasocialist ideas’ as the critized architect Håkon Mejelva put it in an article answering to the critique (Mjelva 1970) of the authors of the Ammerud- report, the photographs used for illustration of the report painted a different picture of allienation, lack of human scale and social cohesion. Sources: Bull, Hansen,Haug. Å Bo I Drabantby: Ammerud : Intervjuundersøkelse Vol. 66. Oslo: Instituttet, 1971.

23 The outcome of the discussion of the Ammerud-case influenced the layout of new housing areas focusing attention on the quality of outdoor spaces and low-density quarters or as the art historian Anne-Kristine Kronborg describes it, that if “form follows function”, the report started a discussion on both political and esthetical level of which “function” these housing areas should serve. Even the architect of the Ammerudproject Håkon Mjelva, who in other points defended his project, stated in an article in Byggekunst in 1970, ‘the surprising conclusion of the authors of the report is, that planners should be blamed for the mistakes of the authorities’(Mjelva 1970). This was the starting point of a debate on the revision of the institutional and organizational framework in which architects operate. As a result, alternative planning processes for the provision of social housing have been introduced in projects such as Romsås, introducing early stage cooperation between all partners involved in order to bridge the conflicting planning efforts of each sector of welfare provisions. Sources: Odd Brochmann (1965) in: Guttu, Jon. "Drabantbyen Som Skyteskive." Fremtid for fortiden, no. 3/4 (2002).

24 The next example of the satellite town of Romsås on a hilltop in the outskirts East of Oslo is to be seen as a reaction to the Ammerud case and the criticisms levied by the Ammerud Report. The municipality as the owner of the land, the Oslo Housing and Savings Association as the developer and a group of architects joined forces in 1968, cooperating closely from the beginning, in order to build a new neighborhoods that would improve on what was conceived as failed examples of earlier dormitory towns (Bjørnsen & Kronborg 2009). The architects had the main coordinating role, as it was now recognized that built environment mattered for the wellbeing of the inhabitants, as it was there welfare policies manifested themselves in a physical way. Sources: "Romsås." Byggekunst (1975):

25 The Romsås- team consisting of a multidisciplinary group of experts and architects reintroduced a hierarchical neighborhood scheme. (Haslum 2008) The spatial concept was based on the sloping topography and placed emphasis on the closeness to nature, with spacious green forests separating the different clusters of dwellings providing meeting places and spaces for various summer and winter activities. The main access to the area was via a central railway station or via parking garages along a ring road. This supported the main intention to keep the housing areas car-free by divided walkways and driveways in two separate systems. (Bjørnsen & Kronborg 2009). Sources: Svendsen, Sven Erik "Romsås, Et Forsøk På Å Skape Den Ideele Drabantby." Fremtid for fortiden: [ ], no. 3/4 (2002): ; Røverkollen Borettslag : Romsås. Oslo: OBOS, 1973.

26 The project consisted of 2600 apartments in three to eight storey concrete blocks. For reasons of efficiency of the building process the houses are very similar in their construction method, plan layout and the design of the building envelop. In order to achieve variation within the project and create community sense through distinct spatial identity, the individual buildings were grouped in six different neighborhoods connected by shared outdoor spaces, subdivided through vegetation and topography. Sources: "Romsås." Byggekunst (1975):

27 Public facilities such as nursing homes, schools, kindergartens, and libraries were considered an essential part of this scheme and were delivered simultaneously to the dwellings. These welfare provisions were aimed at the lifecycle of an individual in the welfare state, which enabled both woman and men to join the workforce, while the state provides care for those in need, as illustrated in brochures for the inhabitants illustrated by “en dag I familien svarttjerns liv “ ( one day in the life of Family blackpond” (named after the small lake of the area seen on the picture) (Svendsen 2002). Although participatory design was considered an essential part of the scheme, it proved to be rather difficult to engage future users in more than planning meetings. Although aimed a diverse group of inhabitants, the first owners of the popular flats were those who could prove a long time membership in the housing association, which resulted in a high proportion of families with young children, whose parents had been members since the 50s. Romsås was the last big housing scheme that met the governmental policy that housing expenses per household should not exceed 20% of an average industrial worker’s income (Martens 1982) and is considered the most complete of the housing schemes that has been developed in the outskirts of Oslo. Sources: Svendsen, Sven Erik "Romsås, Et Forsøk På Å Skape Den Ideele Drabantby." Fremtid for fortiden: [ ], no. 3/4 (2002):

28 A raising awareness of the influence of the physical environment of the social life and happiness of the inhabitants, as described in Ingrid Gehl´s seminal book “Bo miljø” from 1971 also had its impact on Norwegian architects. An interesting example of this trend is the Norwegian book “Bo I glade grender”, published by Inger Ullern og Wenche Terjesen in 1973, that uses the setting of fictional protoypes of neighbourhoods and towns to showcase focusing on individuals of what architecture and urban planning possibly could be producing. This books were published in a time when social housing was at it´s most productive, finishing dwellings each year between 1970 and 1979.(Reisersen Thue, 1996:308). This turn away from planning from quantity to quatlity or for inhabitants as “numbers” to designing housing environments for “a diversity of individuals” becomes obvious in the following example of “Hallagerbakken” in the Southeast of Oslo. Sources: Gehl, Ingrid. Bo-miljø. Vol. 71. Hørsholm: SBI, 1971. Terjesen, Wenche, and Inger Ullern. Bo i glade grender: en bok om samliv, bo-service og nærmiljøer. Oslo: Gyldendal, 1973.

29 Hallagerbakken consists of 210 flats, 126 er rowhouses and 84 er flats in three to four storey apartmentblocks. They were built by OBOS between 1980 and 1982 on a steep northfacing slope in the South of Oslo. Since Oslo municipality had stopped supplying OBOS with subsidized land but started selling it for market conditions, OBOS was in some way follwing Selvaags example of building in difficult locations. Sources: OBOS. Hallagerbakken borettslag. Oslo: OBOS, 1981.

30 The adaptation to the sourroundings was thus one of the main visions of the concepts of the housing scheme by architects Hultberg, Resen,Throne-Holst, Boguskowski and Doubloug. They aimed to adjust their design to the place both in terms of scale, the use of wooden materials, but as well in an attempt to create social meeting places “between the buildings”. Sources: OBOS. Hallagerbakken borettslag. Oslo: OBOS, 1981.

31 The challenging site conditions of the steep hill and the aim to increase the diversity of housing units, was solved in the floor-plan via the introduction of wedge-shaped units , that serve as entrance zones and connecting links. Sources: OBOS. Hallagerbakken borettslag. Oslo: OBOS, 1981.

32 Which kept the rationality of repeating moduls and combined it with the expresssion of unique apartments. Sources: SCIBE

33 Looking at Norway, the growth of income per capita that almost grew six fold between 1945 and 1960 is a clear indicator that the country went from being an average European economy towards becoming one of the wealthier countries in Europe. Following the discovery of the North Sea Oil in 1967, income per capita in Norway further increased tremendously. Although the availability of resources would have put the government in a favorable position to invest in state sponsored housing programs, the contrary happened. The idea of housing changed from being considered a right to becoming more and more a commodity to be traded in the free market and thus considered a private affair (Sørvoll 2009). In the early 1980s The Labor Party abandoned one of their principal ideals: that social housing is one of the pillars of a welfare state and that the main political aim is to limit speculation and the influence of private capital in the housing sector. This resulted in a paradigm shift transforming a universal approach to housing into amore means-tested system directed at those that could not compete in the private housing market (Ruonavaara 2008; Sørvoll 2011). The polictial documents show clearly that words like “decent and affordable home” were replaced by “dwelling”- Sources: Martens, Johan-Ditlef. Norsk Boligpolitikk Fra Sosial Profil Til Fritt Marked. Oslo: AKP, 1982.

34 Since some municipalities had started to sell their land for market prices. The State Housing Bank started to change their criteria and begun targeting selective groups which had difficulties in competing in the private housing market. Many other steps, such deregulating the financial market, abolishing price regulations for rent, and abolishing restriction of the sale of apartments within housing cooperatives, followed. Bostøtte, housing allowance, and more institutionalized forms of dwellings for vulnerable groups under municipal responsibility were introduced. The municipal budgets for housing decreased significantly and public social housing programs came to a halt (Bjørnsen & Kronborg 2009; Hansen & Guttu 2000; Lund 2000; Reiersen et al. 1996; Sørvoll 2009) Sources:

35 It was commonly argued that the most extreme housing shortages were by then solved, and that most of the people were perfectly capable to provide for themselves under market conditions (Sørvoll 2011). Governmental investments into social housing were thus regarded as unnecessary. Although the overheated housing market crashed in 1987, municipal land companies went bankrupt, unemployment rose and new shortages of affordable housing were created. Housing production reached an alltime low after the war of finished units in 1993. The Norwegian government remained steadfast in following the neo-liberal tendencies of its north European and Scandinavian neighbor’s housing policies (Ruonavaara 2008). Social housing expenditure in terms of large-scale governmental investment into housing has been replaced by mortgage reduction on taxes for homeowners and other fiscal incentives. With housing completely left to the mechanisms of an unregulated private market, housing prices rose significantly. The ambition of earlier governments to keep spending on housing for private households to less than 20% of their income proved to be short-lived. The current rate has reached 34%. Home ownership seems to be out of reach for an increasing number of citizens, especially singles, foreigners and young people. Sources: Herbjørg Solstad I Bygningsarbideren, nr.5, 1981

36 Although the state and Husbanken, as one of its organs, tried to influence the development positively through setting requirements for financial funding through an increased focus on universal design and energy efficiency, it seems as if in many cases the role of the state and municipalities was limited to overseeing if building projects comply to master plans and technical requirements. Sources: Guttu, Jon. ""Den gode boligen": fagfolks oppfatning av boligkvalitet gjennom 50 år". Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo, 2003. Husbanken, God Bolig, 1985

37 Providers of affordable housing, like OBOS, became one of many competitors on the private market competing over land, building costs and consumers. And profit. OBOS projects, that were carried out and sold to market conditions after retrenchment, such as the prize-winning Pilestredet Park were designed to match this new conditions and mainly targeted for OBOS members rather than the “poor”. The increased competition in the market both for investors and buyers had significant effect on the housing market. Higher densities, more flats, less spacious green areas and increased focus on individual demands such as parking, could be seen as a result of this orientations towards the demands of individual house buyers (Martens 1982). In many cases public services are not part of the development scheme, but subject to a separated planning process in the municipality. The next, very recent example is therefore exemplary in many ways for the development that followed. Sources:

38 As many recent building projects, the Marienfryd area, which is currently under transformation is a former industrial site in the East of Oslo between Tøyen and Hasle, well connected with the existing town. The project is designed by LPO arkitekter with Veidekke, a commercial housing developer, as the main contractor. Similar projects are developed by OBOS, Skanska, JM and other real estate developers. Sources:

39 The project is finance by a private banking institution and thus subject to an optimized cash-flow. The projects is divided into several stages and a large percentage of the apartments are sold before the project is built. Especially since the heydays of social housing in the 70s where homes were built faster than the design was finished, this was considered a crucial problem for lack of quality in housing schemes. In this case the estimate is approximately a “130 million NOK worth of sales” in a middle-class pricerange of 3.7mio for 80m2 apartment. Sources:

40 In order to optimize land use, parking is set underground on a slightly sloping site. The project is elevated from the street with cleary defined access points that lead to the entrances from the inner courtyard. The outdoor areas are planted and contain playgrounds, some greenery and sitting areas. There are few public services part of the scheme, making the project dependent on existing social services in the area. Compared to the earlier examples land is not subsidized, as well as all infrastructure connected to the project has to be provided by the developer, vat has to be payed for building costs, parking has to be provided ( in this case optional for the buyer) as well as technical requirements have been made stricter in the recent years. The highly debated guidelines for the mix of unit sizes, that should ensure a higher social diversity had to be followed, but will still probably seem exclusive for most buyers due to the high prices. Sources:

41 Romsås Ammerud Ullernåsen Marienfryd Lambertseter Holmlia
This presentation explored how politics and product interact, using several case-studies of social housing provisions of Lambertseter, Ammerud, Romsås, Hallagerbakken and Marienfryd as built examples of housing policies within the Norwegian welfare state between since 1945 up until now. Thank you for your attention! Lambertseter Holmlia Sources: B. Ascher

42 Should there be a minimum standard for housing?
If yes, what should it be based on? What could be possible instruments to realize them? If not, how could architectural quality be assured? Sources:

43 Requirements of universal design and energy efficiency have been under critique in the recent years. What are arguments for and against legal requirements for building construction? Sources:

44 How has this change affected the quality of new housing?
The Norwegian responsibility for housing provision  is divided between state (framework for the market, financing via Husbanken etc.) , municipalities ( local policies for location and distribution of housing, means-tested groups etc.) and private actors (construction, real estate developers). The roles of the various actors have however changed after the deregulation in the 1980s. How has this change affected the quality of new housing? And what about the architects’ role? (And how is this related to the discussion of the two questions above?)   Sources:

45 Norway has promoted home-ownership in the last decades.
Norway has promoted home-ownership in the last decades. How does this housing-ladder-approach influence architecture? What could possible scenarios for a larger rental-market be within housing architecture?   Sources:


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