Media City Bergen The first Media City in Scandinavia
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Media City Bergen is an architectural innovation for an industry that is radically changing: Welcome to Bergen and the first media city in Norway!
Hardly any industry has noticed the challenges of the digital age as much as the media. From 2000 onwards, failed advertisement earnings, cutbacks and the decomposition of previously stable structures have been recurrent themes for both TV networks and newspapers.
While FTE is being cut, it has been discussed how to meet this new reality and how industries best can be restructured – in short how the future will look like for those living by conveying news and entertainment to Norwegian people.
With all due respect: We at Mad arkitekter consider the thinking in this development area too defensive and traditional. We are therefore proud to work in collaboration with Entra in developing a concept for the media production unlike anything seen before – be it in Norway or elsewhere.
The base for the concept is a great faith in interaction, cooperation and positive synergies, and that these are more than empty words in political documents. The fact that it is actually possible to build houses that allow various industries drawing on each other’s expertise, and that it is possible to create a place where different stakeholders can work efficiently on their projects while contributing a positive energy to others.
Rebuilding a bank
In order to achieve this, we took hold of one of Bergen’s largest buildings – the former bank building in Lars Hilles street with its distinctive towers. We used this as basic structure of a new type of building with the big advantage that comes with transformations; the fact that very large buildings can be rebuilt into established urban environments.
Tenants are media group competitors TV2 and NRK, and newspaper enemies Bergens Tidende and BergensAvisen, together with the local University and other media companies. All these companies gathered in a building that would function both at street level for people passing by, as a clear landmark in central Bergen, and as a national and international powerhouse.
We built after our principles of liberating large continuous floor plans, organized around a generous atrium that goes through six floors. This represents the building’s base, which will have a clear and characteristic facade against Lars Hilles street. The three towers that used to define the bank arise from this base, allowing space for tenants requiring smaller areas.
Many different identities in one clear brand
In the media, there is nothing more important for an industry stakeholder than to cultivate their own identity and be a clear sender in its own right. This will continue in MCB. Meanwhile, we are confident that belonging to an environment that has a strong character in itself, will be invigorating for the individuals. This will be the place to be if you are doing media production in Western Norway. A bank will not be less powerful by having its headquarters in Wall Street – quite the opposite in fact.
We believe that the MCB will become a place people will know about, and have a relation to. Cleverly placed right by a stop along the light rail system bybanen and with the university in the immediate vicinity, MCB will also expand the centre and contribute to the ongoing and clear urban development happening in Bergen right now.
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