• Details from a private home in Tjuvholmen Foto:Lars Finholth
  • Leisure boat berths at Tjuvholmen Foto: Lars Finholth
  • The Renzo Piano Building will be the new home of the The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. Construction June 2011 Foto: Sveiung Uddu Ystad
  • A lot of glass is being used at Tjuvholmen Foto:Lars Finholth
  • Interesting block-details on a home at Tjuvholmen Foto:Lars Finholth
  • Fascinating architecture at Tjuvholmen Foto: Lars Finholth
  • Panoramic view of Tjuvholmen from southeast. 3D model made by architect Knut Ramstad (Tjuvholem KS)
  • A view of Aker Brygge. Seen from Tjuvholmen Foto: Lars Finholth

From busy harbour to bustling city streets

With its modern and clean-cut architecture, Tjuvholmen will amaze and inspire any visitor who choose to take a stroll around the islet. The area has been developed into a diverse part of the city accommodating everything from apartments to office space and shops.

The urban development on the islet of Tjuvholmen started back in 2005 and the first residents moved in only two years later. The evolution of the area finished according to plan in September 2014. The masterplan which led to the development of Tjuvholmen was created by Niels Torp, a Norwegian architect who is highly renowned both nationally and internationally. The investors were Tjuvholmen KS, owned by Selvaag (60 per cent) and Aspelin Ramm (40 per cent).

Sculpture park and museum
Attractions and public spaces are the most crucial parts of the new Tjuvholmen, something that greatly benefits the both Osloites and visitors. The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is one of the most beloved features of the islet and the new museum building is a work of art in itself. It was designed by the world famous Italian architect Renzo Piano and welcomed its first visitors on September 29, 2012. 

The spectacular museum has 4,200 square meters of exhibition space, with pieces made by artists such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons on display. The total amount spent on this building alone was about 650 million Norwegian Kroner. The islet also prides itself by having a few more of Renzo Piano's masterpieces at a very close range; a sculpture park whic is beautifully placed near the fjord, elegant bridges over constructed canals and the tall watch tower that can be seen from every point of Tjuvholmen.

Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park is just outside The Astrup Fearnley Museum. The concept of the park was developed in co-operation with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Unique competition
The Port of Oslo sold Tjuvholmen to Selvaag/Aspelin Ramm in 2003. The sale marked the beginning of the development of the Fjord City and came about as a result of a highly publicised competition the year before. Investors and architects were given the opportunity to enter their own ideas and proposals for the area, tailoring their contribution to what they thought was best for the future of the islet.

In the end, Oslo City Council chose the concept “Utsyn” (which means 'view') by architect Niels Torp and investors Selvaag/Aspelin Ramm for the urban development of Tjuvholmen and the reality today is the result of this choice. 

Before the development could start, Tjuvholmen was sold for 886 million NOK to the current owners, Tjuvholmen KS. The funds acquired made it possible for the Port of Oslo to modernise the new container terminal in the southern part of the port. While 456 million NOK was spent on the terminal, the rest of the money was earmarked for public projects at Tjuvholmen.

Place of execution
Much of the coastal traffic to and from Oslo was located in Tjuvholmen for many years but it was relocated to Kneppeskjær in 2005 to give room for urban redevelopment. Historically, Tjuvholmen was a place for thieves and drunks, some were even hanged there. That is where the islet first got its name, in Norwegian 'Tjuvholmen' means isle of thieves. Today it is connected to the mainland, making it the islet that we know and love today.