The hillsides between two forests
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Is connectivity necessarily about accessibility? By turning vast unused lawns into diverse edge habitats, carving out inherent landscape features and opening views, Linderud picks up the dialogue both with its immediate surroundings and the bigger valley context, and becomes a fun place not only to sleep, but to live and to belong. My project explores modes of connection. By highlighting and framing views, I propose to connect the neighborhood to the big valley context visually. On a smaller scale, physical connections to the immediate surroundings are being created and strengthened. And while humans cross the valley with their eyes, the project provides new connections in the form of ecological stepping stones for the non-human dwellers, by turning today’s lawns into rich and diverse edge habitats. The project operates on four axes informed by the topography and the existing urban structure, building on the inherent qualities of the terraced terrain and unlocking views that allow for lookouts to different parts of the valley, to the forest on the other side, and even central Oslo and the fjord. Each axis has a different vegetation theme. The vegetation design is guided and informed by the intention to frame views, playing with sequences of open- and closeness. Belvederes are being molded as balconies; four of them I picked out as representatives for different view-themes for a more in-depth exploration. Groruddalen has a big variety of characters and faces. Overall it is large, out of human scale and can be overwhelming and difficult to orient yourself in. This also translates to many areas where people are living. Everything is bigger in Gorurddalen. In this project, interiority and comfort are established through selected views. Some points offer wide overviews and create connection and belonging to the valley as a whole, while others intentionally frame selected aspects and bring comfort. By proposing clear use and creating safe open spaces that are in dialogue both with its close surroundings and its bigger context, local communities are being strengthened and the functionalist neighbourhood of Linderud with its generous but unused open spaces turns into a place to belong.