Vulkan - a green neighbourhood

Green neighbourhood

At the once industry-heavy bank of the Akerselva river, one of Oslo’s most interesting city development projects has come to life.

Westerdals, Vulkan
Westerdals, Vulkan
Photo: VisitOSLO

The area known as Vulkan is situated at the west bank of the Akerselva river, in between Oslo's city centre and the borough Grünerløkka. Innovative, sustainable architecture defines this new neighbourhood. It hosts two hotels, schools, office spaces, culture centres, restaurants and apartments.

Sustainable city development

Environmental sustainability has been a guiding principle in the planning of Vulkan. The developers’ focus on energy efficiency is manifest both in larger structures and smaller details. A local energy central with 300 meter deep geothermal wells supplies all of Vulkan’s buildings with heating in the winter, and keeps them cool during summertime. The profiled Bellona house, so called after its environmental NGO-tenant Bellona, is visually defined by its extensive solar water heating system.

The house only uses one third of the energy consumed by a regular office building. Vulkan’s two hotels, Scandic Vulkan and Ps:hotell, employ state of the art insulation solutions and recycle energy from coolers and elevators. 

Different shades of green

Mathallen, Vulkan
Mathallen, Vulkan
Photo: Finn Ståle Felberg/Aspelin Ramm

In addition to sustainability in architecture, several of the enterprises located at Vulkan also contribute to the neighborhood’s green profile. Norway’s first food hall opened here in October 2012. The hall makes readily available an extensive selection of locally grown produce and ecological foods. It is built in a renovated factory building, a nod to the area’s intriguing industrial history.


Vulkan’s PS:hotel is established as a large work-training project. Close to 90 percent of the hotel’s employees are people who need a little extra support to join or rejoin the regular workforce. Ps: offers them invaluable work experience. The hotel has already received prestigious awards for its social involvement.

Creative encounters

When portaying Vulkan as a neighbourhood out of the ordinary, it is also natural to mention how the area encourages and facilitates creative encounters between the different enterprises located here. Students from Westerdals School of Communication have already been down the block and decorated the bar at Scandic Vulkan. The food hall supplies the neighbourhood's restaurants with the best produce in town. Such collaborations will surly continue to create good experiences for those who visit ”the little city within the city” with the green heart.

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