Oslo Bus Terminal The city and the bus
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Bus, subway and train in one: Mad architects are designing the new Bus Terminal in Oslo as Norway’s definitive public transportation hub.
It is well known that the bus terminal in Schweigaardsgate is the grimmest Place in Oslo and literally the low point in the detestable Galleri Oslo. Although a new localization could not possibly get worse, we have at least learned that it is wise to think carefully before choosing the location and final expression of such extensive traffic programs.
This is a project that creates ripple effects throughout Oslo, and Mad arkitekter is proud to partner up with COWI to create both a concept and a research foundation allowing the new Bus Terminal to be everything the old one never managed to be.
The principle behind the bus terminal is simple enough. Instead of searching for a possible plot in or outside Oslo, we are reusing an area currently occuping a large part of central Oslo to no avail at all: the track area at Oslo S.
This move has several obvious advantages.
Firstly, the fact that it is close to both the railway and the subway is a huge asset as the bus connections can connect directly on to the rail traffic. Secondly, the existing road connections are excellent since the tracks cross at Nylandsveien and will therefore connect the terminal directly on to both local roads and the main highway (E18).
Thirdly, there are great opportunities to make this a project that includes more than just bus traffic.
And so the question is whether this is right or not. At current state, early summer 2016, there are two juxtaposed suggestions in the areas zoning plan. One focusing only on the bus, creating a beautiful, soaring and free-standing structure like a bridge over the railway lines. The other is more like a cover with a building, where the bus function is supplemented with spaces which can be used for commercial or trade purposes.
A redefined centre
It is not certain which solution is the best. Whichever option that prevail, the new bus terminal will end up in an urban situation around Oslo S which is significantly different than what the area appears like today.
Kristin Jarmund from Crystal Clear, a high rise building which for the first time since Postgirobygget and Plaza comes up in proper building heights, settles right next to the main station.
A station also facing extensive upgrades itself with Space Groups large-scale project.
In this way the bus terminal is written into a program that redefines the entire downtown Oslo making the area denser, higher – and hopefully much better.
No one will cry over the termination of Gallery Oslo, but we want to create an alternative that is not only an improvement. The bus terminal will be a symbol that we have actually gotten better at urban development, where functionality, good architecture and thoughtful responses interact to everyone’s benefit.
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