Deichmans gate and Wilses gate are streets located in the neighborhoods of Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen in central Oslo. They are home to Norways first integrated local stormwater management facility found in an urban setting. With denser cities, more extreme weather and worsening sewers systems, there is a need to manage rainwater at surface level rather than in the piped sub-surface system. Positively, surface based stormwater management systems with vegetation provide additional values beyond water retention. An approach where rainwater is considered a resource and not a problem is vital, but which also demands the need for interdisciplinary planning. In this context landscape architecture is a key profession in developing climate-adapted, robust and attractive cities. This is a project where science truly meets art.
A series of connected raingardens and flow-paths in these streets eliminate the need for an underground pipe system in the area. The raingardens have about 60 cubic meters retention capacity designed to collect the current and growing future rainfall events. Water sculptures and drainage channels connect the raingardens integrating specially designed granite elements that delay the flow and visualize the amount of water. The water sculptures provide as a playscape for children from the adjacent primary school, whilst the raingardens provide educational aspects of water issues. The raingardens contain perennial plants with a variety of foliage providing an attractive formation throughout the year, with the plants chosen thriving in both wet and dry conditions. The rainwater flows openly through the raingarden elements but also drains through permeable drainage covers, reinforced grass and gravel.
The Oslo Water and Wastewater Department, the city’s Environment Department and environmental engineering consultants Asplan Viak continue to monitor the project in order to harvest experience and knowledge for future innovative rainwater projects. The results stand as a promoter for biodiversity and effective environmental urban water management within street design. In doing so, Asplan Viak has created a beautiful streetscape were water and vegetation combines aesthetics with a high degree of functionality. Deichmans gate and Wilses gate in this regard are an innovative project and represent a pilot for major transformation of urban spaces in Norway.
Entrant office name: Asplan Viak AS
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape architect
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Project location (Street, City, Country): Deichmans gate/ Wilses gate, Oslo, Norway
Design year: 2013-2017
Year Built: 2017