New homes designed for divorced couples, students

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A socially conscious housing project in Oslo, still under evaluation by local building authorities, aims to help take the financial sting out of divorces and lessen stress on the children. It can also help students buy their own portion of a residential unit, instead of paying high rent with no returns.

Real estate development firm Birk & Co has proposed building unusual condominiums at Bryn on Oslo’s east side in two forms:

One places children’s sleeping quarters between two otherwise separate units for their divorced parents. Each parent thus has his and her own home and entries, with their childrens’ rooms in the middle. The children avoid having to regularly move between each parent’s home, in cases of shared custody, while their parents can lead separate lives with less disruption as well.

Birk is also designing condos featuring three separate bedrooms and bathrooms that can be bought individually but adjoin a shared kitchen and living room. “Instead of renting a room in an apartment with friends, you can buy it,” proposes Birk & Co, and presumably sell it later.

The four-building housing project also proposes leaving an entire floor of each building open for guest quarters, offices, meeting- or party rooms or other common usage to be determined by the homeowners’ association.

“We don’t know whether there will be interest for this, Olav Birkenes of Birk & Co told newspaper Aftenposten. The firm has published illustrations and floor plans on its website (external link, in Norwegian) and asked viewers to register interest. The jury is also out at Oslo’s planning and zoning agency.

newsinenglish.no staff