Oslo, Norway (@MVRDV)

Project details

In 2003, MVRDV together with Norwegian firms Dark and A-lab, won the competition for the Bjørvika waterfront development with the design of the Bjørvika Barcode. A dense and clearly zoned urban masterplan, which has been developed by Oslo S Utvikling (OSU) in different phases. The masterplan comprises 220,000 m2 of mixed program. Construction on the first buildings within the Barcode started in 2005 and the masterplan was completed in 2017, with MVRDV’s DNB Headquarters completed in 2012.

Jeroen Zuidgeest has been in charge of the design development of the competition and design development and project management of the DNB house at MVRDV.


The masterplan occupies a unique site in the city between the expanse of the fjord and a major transport hub that combines the Central station and highways. To achieve maximum urban and architectural diversity as well as flexibility, and realise a pedestrian-friendly zone in Oslo’s city centre, the site was divided into narrow strips, creating the ‘Barcode’. It gives each building one façade facing the fjord and the other facing the transport hub on the opposite side, to maximise views, number of addresses and create optimal conditions for the developed area with housing, office, commercial or cultural programs. Each building has its own identity and material expression while relating to their adjacent buildings in shape and architecture. It allows for a phased development of the masterplan, with each building being constructed independently from the others, and creating a continuous public space, as animated pedestrian zone.

The Barcode consists of 11 buildings designed by different architecture firms, selected by individual commissions and invited (?) competitions. In total the masterplan accommodates 135,300m2 offices, of which 80,000 m2 will form the new headquarter-complex of DNB and 36,200 m2 housing. The ground levels are programmed with commercial and cultural facilities, with 8,100m2 public program. All buildings in the Barcode are connected by underground levels which will contain parking, technical facilities and communal program.

Masterplanner MVRDV Collaboration A-lab and DARK Arkitekter Client Oslo S Utvikling (OSU) Program Mixed-use Size 220,000m² mixed-use program and architectural plan of 36,500m² Year 2016 Status Competition 1ste prize, realised Copyright MVRDV