J. Bruns gate

Infill condominiums

City of Bergen, Norway

Situated in a “preserved cultural environment” in the inner-city core of Bergen, between two existing historic apartments buildings, the project in “Johannes Bruns gate” is a complicated project that springs out from negotiations between the demand for heritage preservation and contemporary expression. Due to a huge fire the bricks where exposed to such high temperatures that the buildings’ structure where no longer intact, and the only possibility for redevelopment was to demolish the building.

We wanted to design a contemporary building, that at the same time would not be perceived as brutal.

 – we wanted to make “a friendly stranger.

Building on small inner city lots where there is no rigging or storage area during construction, all materials must be transported in daily. This way of construction comes at a high cost and the only way to make the project economically viable was to compress in one extra floor.


So we needed to come up with a design making it possible.

Traditionally the historic inner city apartment buildings in Bergen are recognised by its high ground floor divided from above floors with ribbon-cornice, ornaments around windows generating verticality and shadow play on the facade.

A rendered façade gives a plasticity expression without any visible joints. This opens for a gliding transition between floor levels, which is enhanced by the irregular placement of windows. Together with the faceted façade that brakes and reflects the light, generating differentiated depth and life to the façade, the “additional” floor is less visible in the street.

We are  makers,  creators and architects!

Grahl-Madsen & Sponberg Architecture

Designed and developed by GMSA 2023