In the mid 1930s, a large estate of parallel, seven and eight story high blocks were raised at Marienlyst in Oslo, after modernist principles and designed by a number of the city's finest architects. Still Norway's most densely residential area, the blocks sit in a green, urban landscape at Kirkeveien, a Boulevardtype traffic artery close to the University of Oslo and the National Broadcast. In 2000 the architectural firm Lund Hagem won the competition for further developing the popular area. Marienlyst Park was completed in 2004. Subjected to strict regulatory guidelines, demanding that the new should resemble the old both structurally and formally, Lund Hagem's set of large, free-standing blocks explicitly reference modernist Marienlyst, Yet, as architect Håkon Vigsnæs writes: .The plan conveys a desire for historical continuity and urban consistency, whereas on a purely programmatic level there is obviously no continuity because of the utterly different social conditions underlying the architecture of the two projects. In interesting ways, the constellation of the new and the old Marienlyst reflects shifting ideals of planning, domesticity, individuality, materiality and aesthetics.
Essay by Håkon Vigsnæs