US has the White House. UK has 10 Downing Street. Norway now has Inkognitogaten 18. The complex of new and old buildings called Regjeringens Representasjonsanlegg (the Government’s Representation complex) is at a total of 1320 square meters (14208 square feet). It includes Parkveien 45, Riddervoldsgate 2, Inkognitogaten 18, which have been connected with new structures, and the gardens.
Parkveien 45 “Villa Parafina” (1876-1877) is in the italian classical revival style by architect Johannes Henrik Nissen, and will be used for representation together with the 1 floor of Inkognitogaten 18 (1890). No. 18, which is at 670 square meters (7212 square feet), will house the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg and family, where the 2 and 3 floor will be private. This villa is more simple than the grand Riddervoldsgate 2 (1889-1890) which was built in a powerful new renaissance with towers, but both buildings are by Henrik Bertram Bucher. The latter will continue to be the official residence of foreign dignitaries.
The original facades have been preserved, and the rooms have been modernised, but with direct reference to the buildings’ history.
Much space is lost in the thick walls, elevator shafts, technical and security rooms, but the main reason for the project was for the Prime Minister’s safety. There is also a huge semi-underground garage and numerous terraces and balconies. The gardens dates back to the 1880s and will be restored and renewed by Snøhetta, famous for the Norwgian Opera House in Oslo and the Library of Alexandria in Egypt.
Funny fact: The complex is next-door neighbors to the Royal Palace.