80 602 Re-store: Concrete


Passed foundation level courses (bachelor)

Course content

This studio is all about concrete: it’s history, it’s cultural meaning, it’s structural and technological properties and potential as architectural space. The assignment is to investigate a number of concrete buildings in Oslo from the 1950s- 1970s through reuse, transformation and addition.

Between 70-80% of all buildings in Norway are built after WWII and about 80% of the buildings standing today will still be standing in 2050. There is an urgent demand for knowledge on how to handle the overwhelming number of existing structures. We need to know how to evaluate their technological properties, their cultural value and spatial potential, and develop strategies for their future existence. The raising Norwegian welfare state produced a huge amount of buildings: social housing projects, communal and governmental institutions, commercial buildings and infrastructure. The period allowed for experimentation and technological innovation, and the Norwegian concrete building industry was at the forefront. We find a number of interesting innovation-driven concrete structures in Oslo, and the studio want to cast light on them, learn from them and apply this knowledge to the contemporary architectural practice.

The semester is twofold:
In the first phase the students will investigate a number of significant concrete structures in Oslo from the 1950s-1970s and acquire knowledge on their history, their context, characteristics and potential for reuse, transformation and addition. In smaller groups, the students will gather historical documents, produce drawings and cast models of the buildings.

In the second and most extensive phase, each students will develop an individual architectural project taking one of the buildings from phase one as their point of departure. The studio encourages the students to pursue diverse approaches, from speculative experiments to concrete investigations of insulation, technical infrastructure, structure etc. The list of submitted material will take into account the size and the complexity of the buildings and the concept of the student.

There will be a lecture series running through the whole semester. Lectures will be varied: from the history of concrete as construction material, to it’s structural and technological properties, casting and treatment-techniques, the history of concrete architecture from the 1950s-1970s, social context, urban development, mediation and reception etc.

The studio will collaborate with The Norwegian Technical Museum and The National Museum, department of Architecture among others. A number of Norwegian and international guest lecturers, critics and sensors will take part in the studio.

The aim is to produce an exhibition and a catalogue displaying the work from the studio.

Excursion: London (may change)

Learning outcomes

The students shall acquire extensive knowledge on concrete as a building material, viewed in a historical, technological and spatial perspective. The studio will introduce the students to the concrete building tradition in Norway from the 1959s-1970s, and give them extensive experience in practicing the craftsmanship of architecture with a focus on reuse and transformation of concrete structures.

Working and learning activities

Teaching will mainly be through weekly desk-crits and monthly pin-ups in addition to the lecture-series running throughout the whole semester. Studio-meetings will be held on a regular basis for discussions and comments.

Professor in charge

Professor Erik F. Langdalen


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt Pass / Fail

Exhibition and publication