Aesthetics and cultural heritage

As one of Norway's oldest organisations still in existence, the port take great pride in its heritage. The Port of Oslo puts our maritime history on display, while also keeping to the capital's modern aesthetic guidelines.

The Port of Oslo have tenants very conscious of their surroundings and who contribute to preserving the maritime and cultural heritage along the waterfront. The Fjord City is growing fast and the urban developments are without a doubt extremely positive for the city of Oslo.

Conserving the invaluable maritime heritage

The Port has a Maritime Cultural Heritage Plan to make sure that the invaluable heritage at the docks is preserved for future generations to appreciate. 

The Cultural Heritage Plan has mapped every single individual area of the port, together with its environment, buildings, objects and installations, in order to evaluate its cultural value. That makes it a lot easier to decide what needs to be documented or conserved in each spesific area.

The Port of Oslo wishes first and foremost to conserve the port's cultural heritage through active use. However, there are some items and locations that are worthy of some extra care and attention.

Vippetangen and Akershusstranda

The magnificent buildings here represent the past in a big way. A major part of the Norwegian coastal traffic had its main docks at Akershusstranda, right uptil the end of the 1970s. All sorts of goods arrived here from all over the world, before being shipped to other parts of the country.

The many sheds in this area were built in the 1950s. Because of the materials used, their size and the fantastic maintenance they have had over the years, they have great historical value even today. 

Aesthetics and cultural heritage
Akershusstranda in the 1960's. Photo:Unknown/Oslo City archives


All of the sheds except for number 35, which today is used as the cruise terminal, are all designed by architect Ahasverus Munthe-Kaas Vejre.

Details such as windows and corners must be conserved in any prospective remodeling to make sure that they retain their value as authentic, historical buildings. Charitable maritime associations, closely connected to the Oslo Maritime Culture Conservation Centre, reside in the two sheds 28 and 29. Oslo Harbour Police can be found in shed 30. These three sheds were all built in 1949.

The restaurant Solsiden resides in shed 34, which was build nearly a decade after the other ones in 1957.

Aesthetics and cultural heritage
The Norwegian-America Line

The Norwegian America Line

There are many interesting buildings at Vippetangen, a little further towards the Opera House than Akershusstranda. The Port of Oslo's main offices are located in shed 38, which was once a warehouse used by the companies facilitating the traffic to the United States and the UK.

Bernt Arlet Christian Lange was the architect of this iconic red and white building and the America Line departed from here until the 1920s. After that, shed 38 housed the administrators of the ships to Newcastle, before the Oslo Port Authority moved in in 1987. The building is one of Norway’s first buildings to be made out of reinforced concrete, while the top part is a wooden red.

The grain silo at Vippetangen was built in 1935/1936 and is on the City Conservation Officers' list of buildings that are considered important to our cultural heritage and should possibly be conserved. The architect, Bredo Berntsen, wanted to integrate the silo visually into its surroundings. He was inspired by the fortress and Hovedøya, one of the islands in the Oslofjord. The result was architecture influenced by churches and castles.

The silo completely changed the visual appearance of the area and still dominates the sky line across Vippetangen today. 

Aesthetics and cultural heritage
The grain silo is being built 1935. Photo: Anders Beer Wilse / Oslo Museum

Cranes

Before the industrial revolution muscle power handled the cargo arriving in or being transported out of Oslo. With the mechanisation of the port, many new cranes were introduced to help with the heavy lifting. The Port of Oslo has kept three 6-ton cranes built by and for the port in the 1950s. Many of these were at work both in Filipstad and at Vippetangen. These historic cranes are undergoing restoration so that they can be returned to where they once were used.

Aesthetics and cultural heritage
Filipstadkaia around 1970. Photo: Henrik Ørsted / Oslo Museum