The "roof over roof" project

Photo: Liv Osmundsen, The Royal Court

Photo: Liv Osmundsen, The Royal Court

On 2 May work began on upgrading the roof over the main wing of the Royal Palace. The project is expected to take about 16 months, from May 2011 to the end of 2012.

The work has been commissioned by the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs and is being carried out by Statsbygg (the Directorate for Public Construction and Property Management) in close cooperation with the Royal Court and the Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

The large attics at the Palace remained cold and airy for more than a century, but over the past 20 years the attics have been used for different purposes and have been partially heated. The heat from inside has caused the snow on the roof to melt and water has seeped into the roof structure. The problem has been exacerbated by the fact that the copper sheeting covering the roof has been damaged and there is no tar paper underlay. The warm air coming from inside the attic has caused condensation to form on the copper sheeting.

This moisture has led to rot damage in the plank roof and the support structures. Icicles have formed on the roof in the winter.

The work currently being carried out on the roof involves:

  • Removing the old copper sheeting
  • Repairing damage caused by rot
  • Further insulating the roof
  • Installing new copper roofing
  • Installing a new tar paper underlay
  • Repairing the railing around the roof
  • Improving the technical installations on the roof

The work will repair the damage and weather-proof the roof for the future. At the same time the roof is being raised a little to ensure good ventilation and make room for insulation. The additional insulation will result in savings on heating costs.

A temporary, free-standing roof structure will protect the Royal Palace while the work is being carried out.

It is the free-standing roof that has given the project its name and that to the public will be the most visible part of the project. The temporary roof will protect the Palace while the work on the permanent roof is being carried out.

The free-standing roof structure rests on eight columns that stand outside the Palace walls. The columns are not attached to the Palace but have been sunk into the ground outside. To ensure that the Palace facade remains a visible feature of Oslo’s urban landscape and so as not to obstruct the view from the Palace no tarpaulin has been hung up between the columns.

The work on the roof will not affect the guided tours of the Palace, which are available during the summer months.

Source: kongehuset

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