Location: Stavanger, Norway.
Status: Feasible studies & concept design.
We call “Campus” to that special collection of buildings related with one specific environment for some reason. Stavanger East is presented as an heterogeneous group of nineteenth century industrial buildings, small and white wooden houses, new blocks of housing and business buildings, old concrete silos, and even a huge bridge (Bybrua) that connects Stavanger to the nearby islands. Stavanger East is presented to us as a miscellaneous landscape along the Fjord, an urban whole as a mixture of different features, a new area of centrality: an example of City as a Campus.
This area has indeed a lot of potential for the city, especially because of the beautiful park and the existing buildings around, the Tou Scene and the Fjord. For us, this is the more important thing, just create public space and feel the area as a new kind of vintage recovered city centre. Cities like Berlin, New York or Barcelona did it before. For this challenge, we propose to change KvitsØygata into a partially pedestrian street and generate public space as the most important heritage for the whole community. The new buildings have three, four, five or six floors and sloping roof, a contemporary complex inspired by the original small-scale wooden buildings.
There is an old Scandinavian proverb: “people go where there are people”. Attending to the book “Life between buildings: using public space” by Jan Gehl, there are a number of essential requirements for the design of a vital and lively public space: increasing density and diversity of uses, concentrating activities, available space for pedestrians and recreational use of outer space, use of the appropriate scale for buildings (maximum 5-6 plants, what it’s called “human scale”), actions for traffic calming, consider the street as the main unit of relationship, reduce speed, generate good conditions to stay in outer space, increase the number of events, cluster and concentration of activities, buildings with small fronts (6 meters maximum for each recommended), total accessibility (one single level in ground floor), opening of locals and cafes to the street, etc. All of them have been taken into account in the design of the public space around Borgen HUB.
Architecture & Landscape
Why do we feel attracted so much for the historical centres, for example the one of Stavanger? There are several reasons for this, but above all of them is the urban landscape as a whole: diversity, geometry, complexity, time as another material for the project, the human scale, the presence of many activities, the pedestrian slowness, and above all, the significant affluence of people. This is exactly Borgen Hub: the project as an urban landscape that comprehends the values and pre-existences of the place: Ostehuset, Oransjeriet and the park, Tou Scene and the Fjord or the surrounding neighbourhoods.
The proposal has a huge potential for setting up uses and functions. We propose a commercial program on the ground floor (shops, cafes, restaurants and creative business) and offices in all the other floors. However, we understand the architectural program as something inclusive in which people and stakeholders related in the development of the city can also take part. The local government can be part of the complex by integrating social areas depending on the needs of the neighbourhood (streets KvitsØygata and Ryfylkegata); a participatory process is recommended, better if linked to a temporary exhibition and informal events involving Urban SjØfront and other Norwegian cultural institutions: we want to know the ideas and feelings of people, that’s the key for placemaking.
Process & Phases
There are four phases for the development of the proposal: (1) Ryfylkegata (Area currently available); (2) Borgen property; (3) Current parking area (keep the existing building is still an option); (4) Kvitsoygata 19 (Area currently available, so it can be also first). feelings of people, that’s the key for placemaking.
City & Environment
Main ecological principles: (1) improving the city as a whole: maximize green areas and biodiversity; eco-mobility specially through zero emissions electric cars; densification of the East district while creating new public spaces; promote healthy lifestyle as a cultural identity; (2) design based on local climatic conditions and site context; (3) self-sufficient energy producer: bio-climatic design, energy efficiency systems and use of renewable energies; efficient maintenance systems and user guides; (4) energy and resources management centre: shared facilities based on biomass; high efficiency aerothermal energy equipment and heat recovery units; zero waste and closed loop ecosystem; closed water management; (5) local investment and industrialized systems; use of materials with low environmental impact (wood); (6) programming together: mix used proposal creating free space on ground floor, hub for boosting creative business and public private partnership; (7) productive infrastructure: urban farming and local food supply; (8) educational support: collaborate with local schools promoting educational programs for children.