Nansen Park: Abandoned Airport Becomes A Delight

What would you do if you found yourself with an abandoned airport on 1000 acres of formerly beautiful land surrounded on three sides by a fjord—AND it’s on the outskirts of a city which also happens to have a housing shortage?

If you’re the city of Oslo, Norway, you might determine to sell off parcels of the perimeter land for housing and mixed-use development and return the remaining runways, airport facilities and land to its former beauty with some humor and water fun for extra measure. We’ll visit Nansen Park, designed by Norwegian landscape architecture firm Bjørbekk & Lindheim, as part of the Oslo segment of the “Locally Grown” Conference in Norway this June.

An example of the mixed-use development giving residents great views of the park.

An example of the mixed-use development giving residents great views of the park.

There are ample places to sit and enjoy the views.

There are ample places to sit and enjoy the views.

Schools are also included within the park.

Schools are also included within the park.

Whether you're running, walking, in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller, paths are easy to navigate with lots of options to change your route.

Whether you’re running, walking, in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller, paths are easy to navigate with lots of options to change your route.

The installation here offers movable parts so the water can be controlled almost like a pinball machine.

The installation here offers movable parts so the water can be controlled almost like a pinball machine.

Areas of the park alternate between natural (seemingly) and man-made. That silver snake heading up the mountain in the distance is the Holmenkollen Ski Jump.

Areas of the park alternate between natural (seemingly) and man-made. That silver snake heading up the mountain in the distance is the Holmenkollen Ski Jump.

Moving water next to a still pond.

Moving water next to a still pond.

The airport control tower is a reminder of what was once here.

The airport control tower is a reminder of what was once here.

Lots of playfulness with the water courses.

Lots of playfulness with the water courses.

DSC02654

DSC02617

A statue of Fridtjof Nansen by Per Ung stands on a rise in the background. Nansen was a polar explorer, scientist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who lived nearby.

 

Photos by Ann Thompson

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s