Diploma 2016 - "llluminating the edges" by Inga Hegdahl Eggen

Challenging the conditions of drug addicts in Oslo.

Drug abuse is a reality. This project challenges social inequality, and aims specifically towards improving the quality of life and physical environment for the heavy users of strong substances in Oslo, Norway.

There are approximately about 5000 injecting drug abusers in Oslo today. Drug addicts are as a group and as individuals marginalized and less accepted in society. This is seen both in politics and in urban spaces, through behaviour towards addicts- and the design of the physical environment. An important space for social encounters is in the city streets, from where they tend to be excluded. On a daily basis, they are frequently ordered to move from their whereabouts, or denied access to certain parts of the city. Volunteer and idealistic organizations provide services for the client, if they do not have a drug-free policy, but they have limited opening hours, and the architecture of the building they are located in, is often originally designed for a different use.

This thesis proposes a low threshold service for people living a life with drugs. Taking into account that people are actively on drugs, it is facilitated on the terms of the user. It is a place that functions as an alternative, or supplement to the street – a safe place that architecturally give a new identity to the client in the cityscape, and a new quality of life.

The new building is home to two main functions: one is a “Safe Haven” that provides a low threshold alternative, with a place to leave the dog, activities, dining, social spaces, “to be” spaces, field aid and an injection room. The other function is an urban garden with a market store, workshop spaces and gardening. The garden is shared with people who are interested in renting a lot for gardening, and this creates a meeting place for clients and the part of society that has interest in this field.

Situation plan 1:500


Perspective of wooden construction


Roof garden

Model 1:200


Concept models


Grid structure 1:7.5


Model 1:1000 and interviews


Model 1:200 – construction seen in street level