From a grey parking lot to green and flourishing park that ensures a green framework for community.


Originally this student housing area was completely surrounded by parking lots. The area was planned on the premise of cars. There were only very few benches and no areas for recreation or meeting places for students. There were just 16 trees in the whole area, making the student campus very grey and uninviting. Cars and parking lots dominated meaning there was no space left for the students or visitors from the surrounding neighbourhoods to meet, enjoy each other’s company, or just sit down and relax with a book.


Our solution was to transform the area from a boring parking area into a green and flourishing park. Throughout the design process we prioritised ‘communities.’ Utilising the area’s unique potentials, we created a safe, healthy and inspiring student experience, providing space for the students who live at the campus as well as the public from the local neighbourhood.

The overall goal was to foster community. Green and inviting areas provide space where students can meet. Communal facilities provide a framework for social activities and supplement the small rooms the students live in.

All the downsides of the area have been turned into upsides. The overall project rethinks the priorities for the campus area at Fantoft and creates a green, beautiful and functional park. The ambition was to generate movements patterns that can help keep the community healthy. We have therefore connected the landscape with a curving path that creates a sensory experience with varying views and spaces when you move through the park.

Creating a green park with a strong, unified, and appealing identity ensures increased well-being and quality of life among the students. The social value creation generates an increased brand awareness for the university within Norway and internationally. This has helped attract students from all over the world and adds economic value for the university.

Today the area is a vibrant and active garden with the community and students in focus. We have succeeded in generating an active and blooming park, that fosters smaller and larger communities. Moreover, since the transformation of the area there are for the first time long waiting lists for the student campus. Both international and Norwegian students are very keen to live in the beautiful area, because it creates a healthy, safe, sustainable, and inspiring, green framework around their everyday life.

“It is a pleasure to see how the new park helps to increase the well-being and quality of life among the students. Every day, the students enjoy each other’s company in the beautiful outdoor spaces, which invite relaxation and recreation, shared fun and sports activities.”

Quote from Stein Ove Halhjem, Director of Housing at Fantoft and Studentsamskipnaden in Western Norway.

Today, the students use the park for football, pétanque and barbecues in the evenings. Along one of the buildings, we have established (perhaps) the world’s longest study bench where the students can study, socialise and enjoy the sun. The new park invites everyone in and offers an array of opportunities for activity.

A park for biodiversity and rainwater management

Fantoft is a park that can manage large amounts of rainwater. The park is designed with rain beds that can not only handle huge amounts of water during cloud bursts, but also secures drinking water for birds and insects throughout the year. The planting composition was carefully considered to support biodiversity. There are flowering trees and bushes that offer nectar to birds and insects. The variation in the tree selection, pollen plants and bee flowers secures a park, that is alive and blooming all year round.

Why should this project be awarded?

With a holistic take we have ensured aesthetic, functional and social coherence at Fantoft campus. We have helped to solve broader societal issues such as loneliness and the effects of climate change. The new park at Fantoft generates economic, social and climatic value. The new green framework increases the quality of life at the student campus for its users – both the students and the public who live in the local neighbourhood. Our strong focus on community has resulted in a significant difference for the people who live there. Finally – in all modesty – Fantoft is a beautiful project, which in itself contributes to ‘the good life’.

Five facts about Fantoft’s transformation:

From a few loose benches to over 100 meters of benches along the facade and within the park
From 16 trees – to approx. 100-110 trees
From a grey asphalt jungle – to green grass and colourful plants and bushes.
From an area planned for cars – to an area planned for students
Link to further description:

Location: Fantoftvegen 14, 5075 Bergen, Norge

Design year: 2018

Year Completed: 2022


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