While Scandinavia already has a reputation for mass timber construction, including what was, until this year, the world’s tallest timber building, Oslotre’s St. Olavs vei 18 shows a continued innovation of timber projects in the region. Located in Kristiansand, on the southern tip of Norway, St. Olavs vei 18 is the city’s first residential cross-laminated timber (CLT) building. The five story structure is home to 28 apartments, no larger than 40 square meters (430 square feet) each. Completed in April, the units are being marketed to first-time buyers.
Oslotre designed the project for a restrictive site, though kept a focus on daylighting with parametric modeling tools. The geometry of the building’s floorplan cuts in and out along the edges to guarantee natural light from at least two directions in each unit, and every unit contains a balcony. The design team also opted for a slightly larger ceiling height than is standard, at 2.6 meters (8.5 feet), making the interiors feel more spacious within their limited square footage.