Tukthuset is located within the grounds of a historical correctional facility bearing the same name. Most of the buildings that made up this facility were torn down in the 70’s to make room for a tax office and parking-lot. The courthouse and one of the penitentiary buildings were the only two, out of some fifteen buildings that remain. They have been standing on this plot since the 18th century and function as anchor-points for this new project.

Project name: Tukthuset
Studio name: Arkitekturfabrikken
Client: Godhavn
Area: 1800sqm
Year: 2019, finalized in 2022
Location: Trondheim, Norway

Tukthuset by Arkitekturfabrikken AS - Sheet2
©Arkitekturfabrikken AS

The distinction between these remaining facilities and the four new buildings can most easily be discerned through the current choice of colour. There are however plenty of differences in panelling, detailing, roofing and windows that makes them visibly different. There was no intention of making old and new indistinguishable, we merely wanted to make good-looking buildings that sources its inspiration from local references and the immediate surroundings.

Tukthuset by Arkitekturfabrikken AS - Sheet3
©Arkitekturfabrikken AS

The image of Trondheim is perhaps best known through our Gothic cathedral and friendly streets of colourful wooden houses. The city has long branded itself as a “city of wood” in reference to this architectural heritage. The project (in form) is a re-imagining of the city-landscape that was made up by this facility and the rest of Trondheim’s post-medieval architecture.

The project has been designed in collaboration with antiquarian authorities and draws heavily on the existing buildings as well as information from historical photos and documents. All new buildings and structures have been made as a reimagining of the bygone urban landscape. This approach has resulted in the “re-discovering” of spatial qualities which would’ve been unnatural to suggest in the design of a contemporary project. Luckily, they have been allowed to exist here.

Tukthuset by Arkitekturfabrikken AS - Sheet4
©Arkitekturfabrikken AS

What once was an institution of forced labour is now a much more welcoming place. This intimate and urban housing project has a diverse composition of homes, and fits 8 family homes as well as 11 apartments of varying sizes. The placement of buildings means that there are plenty of opportunities to both see and be seen by your neighbours. The grounds also have a common courtyard and garden, which are free to use for all and can be observed from the apartments. We hope this intimacy will help the inhabitants to become familiar with their neighbours and build trust in their local community.


Arkitekturfabrikken is a small firm in Trondheim, Norway. It has worked within the field of housing and culture for 10 years, designing both new buildings and refurbishments. They have long experience with urban landscapes and historical contexts, and put great weight on the importance of a healthy day to day life and the aesthetic experience of architecture.


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