Urban Preservation – Vestli
Even Smith Wergeland and Tom Davies
2019’s Urban Preservation (UP) picks up the current buzz on late Brutalist Low Rise High Density and terraced housing projects looking at Oslo’s own Vestli; built by Selvaag Bygg (1968-78). Combining heritage preservation and working with community provides a basis for potential solutions to changes identified through workshops at Vestli carried out in 2018. These feasibility studies explore how changes such as accessibility, material upgrades, retrofitting (solar panels, rainwater-harvesting etc.), siting and designing of facilities for recreation, employment and temporary workspace can be implemented in a way which benefits Vestli and responds to the needs of its community.
Students on the course gain this understanding by covering the architectural context and heritage principles of working with Post-war heritage, through Vestli and other contemporary projects. This includes an archival research workshop and a mid-term review of project work by a small panel of residents and members of the district administration providing feedback on the developing projects. The students develop the 2018 data through their own fieldwork by exploring Vestli and talking to residents. The completed studies need to demonstrate an understanding of the character of Vestli and the preservation/use balance in supporting proposed changes. These completed projects will then contribute to ongoing work at Vestli as potential solutions for further development.