The Wessel Quarter is a new mixed-use residential and commercial development in the center of Asker, Norway.
Asker is a one of the major suburbs of Oslo with a lively and compact town center. The project site was the last undeveloped land in the town center, with a privileged position right next to the train station. The use is mixed, comprised of shops and restaurants on the ground floor, offices on the first floor and apartments on the second to 6th floors. Parking is moved under ground, along with services and technical facilities.
The project aims to redefine a clear city block in a fragmented situation. The volume has been adapted to surrounding building heights, as well as maintaining and strengthening routes and views along existing roads and paths. While following a more rectilinear shape towards the streets, the project is softer, with an undulating façade, towards the center of the block. This has allowed the interior of the project to be finely tuned to maximize sunlight and views as well as providing a large variety of apartment types. The central part of the project rises to 7 stories, plus a roof garden, while the outer parts of the project varies between two and 5 stories, depending on the surroundings.
The facades are clad in a bright, sand-colored brick, giving the building a light appearance while at the same time making a connection to the predominately brick-clad buildings in the surrounding town center. The façade is articulated by using a relief masonry in ribbons around each floor. The ribbon is perforated where ever there are balconies and terraces, giving the façade a richness in detail, and an expression that changes character with the light throughout the day. The lightness of the brick is complemented by the extensive use of oak, both in cladding and window frames on the ground floor, as well as in all the outdoor ceilings.
The project also establishes a park located in the center of the quarter. Accessible from all sides of the block, the “Pharmacy garden” (named after a former pharmacy on the site) provides a green, intimate and peaceful space – something lacking in Asker up until now