Destination Forus Location: Forus, Stavanger and Sandnes
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A enormous park as a central motif for a commercial development taking Forus from car-based outback to a prime destination for the whole Stavanger region.
When Stavanger became the case of an oil rush of totally unforeseen proportions in the 70s, it is obvious that major efforts were invested in building an offshore infrastructure. A corresponding apparatus for companies and businesses were designed on land. This was necessary to ensure the creation of value.
However, what was not a priority, was a similar upgrade of urban structures. Therefore, the city today is a little strange and atypical Norwegian city where the centre is tiny and dominated by small timber houses, while a surrounding region consisting of urban sprawl and scatered industrial buildings have increased beyond the enormous scope, characterized by car-based solutions and lack of planning.
The Forus Case
Amidst all this we find Forus . A colossal industrial area located between Stavanger, Sola and Sandnes, where car dealers and construction products stores share spaces with the headquarters of the largest companies in Norway, in an environment where the understanding of the qualities of spaces is limited to curbs in the parking lot and pansies in roundabouts.
It was based on this that Norwegian Property (Npro) announced a competition for the revitalization of Statoil’s headquarters where not only the building itself, but a large part of the surrounding area were to be rethought.
The circle is closed
It’s not often one sees Norwegian plan strategies this bold, visionary or radically innovative as the proposal Mad arkitekter came up with in response to this task. In an area where the quality of spaces is diluted, residential areas are randomly scattered around, and the sea is too far away to inform the project, we made a master plan which is not built on to the existing, but established a whole new set of qualities.
The main strategy was to let the old headquarters be incorporated into a massive ring of large commercial buildings with their backs to the roads and surroundings and instead turned inwards a lush and grandiose parkland.
Environmental oil capital
This ring of buildings is placed on a collective urban landscape, which serves both pedestrians, cyclists and deliveries and acts as the supporting infrastructure of the project, where activities are carried out inside the park, and not in the existing streets outside. This urban landscape also brings up the proposed light rail which we let right through the project with one station at either end of the area.
Thus, the heavy industrial buildings located in a robust and flexible plan in which the main principle means that as long as it is built within the specified ring, and unless buildings are oriented towards the central park, it can be built at a different pace and different typologies without the concept fading away.
In this way those who work or live in the short term accommodation or apartment hotels have a recreation area with facilities for sport culture or just relaxation which is normally reserved the neighbours of the fashionable Central Park in New York. The same applies to everyone else who live in the area. Even though the park is defined by buildings who surrounds it, this is a place open to all, in which people can go through on the way to work or school.
Or simply visit for its own sake. As a destination at Forus.
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