Østmarka (NO)

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Scales XL/L

Team representative Architect, urbanist and landscape architect
Location Trondheim
Population Trondheim kommune 210 1596 inhabitants

Reflection site 94 ha - Project site 7,4 ha

Site proposed by Trondheim municipality
Actors involved Trondheim municipality
Owner(s) of the site Trondheim municipality

Commission after competition Commission valued at approximately 400.000 NOK (ex VAT) in 2024/25 for developing the proposal further. The exact content of the follow up contract will be negotiated with the team based on the character of the proposal, the particular skill of the team and evolving needs of the client. Trondheim municipality retains the option to increase the commission’s size and scope with another NOK 500.000 at a later stage.

More Information

Inhabited milieu's challenges

This task goes to the heart of the challenges intrinsic to the idea of sustainable development. A denser city requires more services and housing, putting pressure on existing green corridors and urban habitats. How do we prioritise, and how can sensitive and innovative architecture and programming not just mitigate the negative impacts but also create regenerative concepts for an equitable city for animals, plants as well as humans?
Lade, the peninsula on which the site is located, is an important and complex part of Trondheim city. It contains many listed buildings and historical sites dating back from Viking settlements to listed modernist architecture from the sixties. The area is known for its green landscape and rolling hills, much of which
also has different categories of protected status. With Trondheim being one of the fastest growing cities
of Norway, Lade has become a strategic area for densification, leading to an increased need for municipal services, especially care for the elderly. The Østmarka area already contains a range of different municipal and governmental services such as a school, kindergartens, assisted living facilities, and a psychiatric hospital. The municipality has acquired the site with the intention of building a nursing home. In addition they plan a commercial housing scheme on the same site. Østmarka has obvious cultural and natural values and the municipality wants to strengthen and make them more accessible.
Plans for development on the site have met resistance among neighbours. They fear the loss of precious natural and cultural environments, old trees and fertile soil. The forest functions as a green lung for the area, allowing deer to move freely and the rolling hills of the meadow landscape are home to insects and pollinators. Lade is unique in Trondheim for its soft interaction between wildlife and people and functions as an important recreational area. Also, a grassroots initiative has shown interest in acquiring the derelict old wooden houses on the site to establish a housing coop that could provide affordable housing through self-builder methods and collective practices.
Trondheim municipality is entering Europan 17 to receive ideas and concepts for how to reconcile the contested character of the site, and develop it in a holistic way that can address both the concerns of inhabitants and provide the care services the overall population needs.

Questions to the competitors

1. A design concept for a nursing home with 60 - 70 units.
2. A design concept for a scalable housing programme with that is sensitive and well adapted to the site.

Find innovative concepts that balance social sustainability with care for the ecological systems on the site.

Questions on the site

Referring to the drawing at page 17 of the Brief: Which is the actual conditions of the Yellow and Blue buildings? Is it possible to have more documents and informations about them (Floor Plans, Sections, Construction and Heating System)?


A condition survey of the buildings was conducted in 2017. This included buildings that later have been demolished and buildings that are planned demolished in the area. Of the original 47 housing units in 2017, spread across 12 residential buildings, there are now 33 remaining housing units spread across 8 buildings (the ones marked in blue and yellow in page 17). The buildings are generally in poor condition. The need for investment to restore the 47 housing units was estimated at NOK 80 million in 2017.


Condition reports (in Norwegian), and floor plans, showing in particular the fire technicalities of the buildings, are uploaded to the complete site folder, new docs after launch. In the condition reports the buildings are marked 2138, 2139, 2140, 2141, 2142, 2143, 2144, 2145, 2146, 2147, 2150 and 2151. The latter four buildings have been or are planned to be demolished, and the condition of these should not be taken into account.


Referring to the drawing at page 17 of the Brief: Which is the main differences between the Yellow and Blue buildings? Is there a main reason why we can demolish the Yellow ones and we must preserve the Blue ones?

All the mentioned buildings are important to the general, overall historical character of the area.  After discussions with the heritage authorities it has been agreed that the buildings closest to the main road (Østmarkveien) must be preserved (blue) while the yellow buildings can be demolished to make space for important public functions. The northeast most building in the drawing is wrongly marked yellow. It should have been marked blue as this building also should be preserved. The distinction is made because the buildings alongside Østmarkveien are closely linked to the hospital area, and are most important in telling the story of Østmarka as a historical (still functioning) hospital area.

Referring to the drawing at page 17 of the Brief: How much can we operate on the Blue buildings? Can we act also on the main structure, facade, etc... or is it just a conservative design?

You must preserve the exterior, especially the facades towards the main road (Østmarkveien) but can otherwise operate on them as you see fit.

Is it possible to build part of the requested scalable housing on the Brownfield Area?


Yes, both the nursing home and the housing program can be built on the brownfield. 

Is it possible to ask for a more precise amount of square meters for the scalable housing program?


No. We are asking for a flexible concept for housing well adapted to the site. The size and types of apartments are up to the competitors and should work with your overall concept for the site. 

Is it possible to move the Basidiomycete Fungi group to another area in order to preserve them?

Trondheim municipality has no experience in moving fungi, and has no knowledge of projects where this has been conducted. In fungi the mycelet (“the root system”) consists of a highly branched network of threads that grow underground. We assume you have to bring enough layers of soil for it all to work together at the new location. The new location must also have the same environmental conditions as the location from which it is taken.

Seen that the Victoria Family Center is planned to be moved, is it possible to demolish it or to reuse the buildings for new Housing?

Yes, the site where the Victoria centre is located can be used for both the nursing home and the housing.

At page 22 of the Brief there’re drawn the 2 solutions for the Nursing Home Project. In both options we’re asked to organize around 70 parking lots in the underground floor. Is it possible to organize part of these parking lots outside this floor or to just reduce them? Does the Nursing Home really need 70 parking lots?


The two nursing homes presented are previous feasibility studies, examples to help you understand the complex requirements for this kind of program. The competition asks for a proposal for a nursing home that is well adapted to the site, and you are not required to copy the case studies. 


Parking: There is no fixed number of parking lots required. The area is well connected to public transport and does not need unnecessary parking for employees.  However some employees work night shifts outside of the business hours of the public transport system. Hence some of these employees are dependent on using their car to get to work. Some disability parking should also be established close to the main entrance. 


In general strategic measures to promote less car-dependency are encouraged.

In the north part of the design area, next to the abandoned office building there’s a plot signed as “Brownfiled site”. Is the ground of this plot poisoned? Which kind of pollution actor is involved in this site?

Brownfield means it is the site of a building that has been demolished. The ground is mostly made up of rubble covered by a thin layer of grass and is not polluted.

Many buildings in the area are “planned to be demolished”. Is it smart or feasible to propose their maintenance or renovation instead of the demolition (I’m talking specifically to the yellow buildings in the north part, and the former office in the north plot)?

What is smart or feasible depends on your proposal and site analysis. The sites where the specified buildings (the yellow marked buildings and the office building in the north plot) are located are possible sites for solving the defined programme. Proposals that both solve the programme and are able to preserve the buildings are very welcome. We encourage proposals that integrate these existing buildings into the concept, or proposals that reuse the buildings or building materials within the project site.

This site is connected to the following theme

Designing new habitats as a holistic environment

Some nature reserves around the world are deserts –hot or cold–, but they host all kinds of animals and microorganisms hiding in the cracks and crevices, under the rocks. Some of our sites look empty, vacant, but they are not. They are full of life: in the soil, in the air, in the breeze. They are part of a larger balance of natural forces and processes. On these sites, substantial new volumes of programme are required. Think of these sites as the opportunity to multiply the number of life forms, think of the request to build new habitats as an opportunity to design a holistic environment. Think tabula non-rasa!

Specific documents

Questions on the site

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Fr. 2 June 2023
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 16 June 2023
Deadline for answers

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