Slipway Housing Complex, Mandal, Norway

Monday 19 Mar 2018
Credit: Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Architects: Reiulf Ramstad Architects

Where the river meets the sea

This Nordic housing project takes its inspiration from the unique character of Mandal

The “Slippen” housing complex, designed by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter AS, is located in the district of Lower Malmø, at the exit of Mandalselva in the Mannefjord. The town of Mandal has some very special qualities with its location where the river meets the sea, and a stunningly beautiful timber architecture. Lower Malmø on the eastern side of the river has historically been an industrial area, but this is currently under development and will in future become a vital part of Mandal's vibrant city life. The project is iconic with its unique roof forms and minimal window details, while at the same time evoking the character of the local surroundings, taking its inspiration from the unique character of Mandal: the encounter between timber construction and the open sea. The architecture is steeped in local vernacular building traditions, but with a new and modern interpretation.

The project organizes four residential buildings around a common outdoor area. A longer building is located to the north along Ballastgata. Towards the riverfront, there are three smaller residential buildings. These are generously spaced apart; providing ample visibility from all the apartments towards the ocean, as well as letting plenty of sunlight into the common outdoor areas. This first phase of the development contains 46 apartments divided into 16 different types. The size of the apartments ranges from 65 sq m up to 175 sq m. All apartments have balconies and some rooms are double height mezzanines. All the penthouse apartments have private roof terraces. The project is fully in accordance with Norwegian requirements for universal design. 

The buildings have traditional pitched roofs inspired by the local building traditions of southern Norway. The facades and roofs are clad in untreated cedar with balconies facing southwest. Great emphasis has been placed on the relationship between the outdoor spaces and the shared building functions. All the apartment layouts are highly effective and well organized, placing great emphasis on the provision of daylight, open views and good flow between the indoor and outdoor facilities. All drainpipes, door and window frames and other exterior components have been carefully designed to be as discreet and delicate as possible, which has given the houses a clean and sharp design language.

Nick Myall

News editor