Sjøgata Love for Sjøgata

Project information
Bodø Kommune

A demonstration of how a community can have qualities far beyond a given number of square meters of housing if we regard housing projects and urban development as two sides of the same coin.

It’s ridiculously easy to build a house. You sprinkle some columns of reinforced concrete. On top you place a set of slabs of more reinforced concrete. The engineers browse a table to see that it will remain standing when the autumn winds blow. Finally, the architect browse through the catalogue of facade materials, asks the developer how much money she can bring to the store and then she mounts the finest work of wood or masonry she can buy. Done.

At least it seems simple when we look at apartment buildings and offices that pop up in around Norway, but there is room for manoeuvre outside this very basic model. When we designed a housing proposal in Sjøgata in Bodø, we decided to show that it is possible to achieve something more than the simple task of placing a given number of square meters of housing on a given plot.

We decided to show it is possible to achieve something more than placing a given number of square meters of housing on a plot

Understanding and local knowledge

How does one create local quality? It’s about finely tuned adaptation of spaces, both the public and private spaces in the city for future residents. It’s about the relationship with existing buildings and a continuation of heritage and historical identity. To create something beautiful and alive that is not only useful and profitable, but with a scale and an expression that sets Sjøgata in conjunction with other ambitious and forward-looking building projects in Bodø right now.

With this project Mad arkitekter try to play further with Bodøs maritime heritage and Northern Norwegian coastal culture by looking at classic fish packing warehouses. We have also given the buildings a size and appearance that make them fit nicely into the city, and we will continue with the current scale rather than making a break.

"With this project Mad arkitekter try to play further with Bodøs maritime heritage"

Street life and urban adaption

Retail areas on the first floor, a few floors of commercial space for mixed use, roof gardens and flexible, robust solutions for future tenants are all qualities we worked hard with to include in the project. Still, the most important for us was to contribute to a housing and urban environment where people simply like to stay. Maybe once in a while stop and think “that actually turned out quite nice”, instead of the feeling that often appears when facing new apartment complexes – the resigned “oh well, it turned out here as elsewhere, it wasn’t expected otherwise.”

Many Norwegian cities and towns are under considerable pressure regarding local centralization. Not only Oslo notice influx from rural areas, but Northern cities like Bodø or even smaller places like Kabelvåg or Svolvær, experience hard pressure on housing development in key areas. It is of extreme importance that this demand results in something more than just “getting the job done.”

These are the places we live our lives, and they must be developed with love. That’s what we tried to do in Sjøgata in Bodø.

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