Schandorff Square: Parking lot to park

A distant view of the place and gate showing the winding path, steps and sitting areas in Schandorff Square.
Re-modelled Schandorff Square in Oslo

Remodelling a sloping urban open space with a heritage building is no easy task. Taking a universal design approach is one way to solve the issues. The re-design of Schandorff Square shows how to turn a parking lot into a park using a universal design framework.

The problem was making a city space, with a heritage wall and gate, on a sloping site into a pleasant place to walk, and to have informal get-togethers.

The height difference of seven metres was the main challenge. But with some universal design thinking to drive the design they came up with a successful inclusive and accessible design. Lots of seating areas and visual contrast increase the accessibility of the site. In addition, designers also found the right mix of plants to suit people with allergies. 

See more detail on the story about this universally designed open space and the difficulties they overcame. Several photos illustrate the final design, and the designer explains their universal design approach in a video. 

Editor’s Note: Norway has almost no flat land and is at the forefront of rolling out universal design everywhere. So the myth that you can’t do UD on sloping sites is put to bed.