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.
There are ample places to sit and enjoy the views.
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.
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.
Moving water next to a still pond.
The airport control tower is a reminder of what was once here.
Lots of playfulness with the water courses.
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