Jury remarks: This project almost presents a new city: a structure of quite small-scale mixed-use blocks and streets which cover most of the site. There is parkland in connection with the existing church and the industrial area, but the main public feature is the waterfront, which in the jury’s opinion is the strongest feature of this project.
Odda Lace captures the fjord and connects to the city in one simple meaningful gesture. The landmark building, the ferry terminal, is located at the end of the waterfront walk. The existing main street in the urban pattern also connects easily with the new parts as a prolonged walkway. The appealing waterfront, the strongest part of the project, holds an appropriate scale for the city. Although the design is a bit retro – sort of a medieval picture, it is challenging to implement the project on site. The public square is nicely connected to the water. The project must be developed with a larger green space.
This proposal needs to be planned for staged development and must be taken further. The massive urban fabric proposed for this place proves a misunderstanding of the conditions in the city regarding the need for housing. The key elements in the plans for the development of Odda are to reverse the falling population trend and turn the town into an attractive urban centre for local commercial activities and new tourism.
One should in that sense in many ways be able to imagine development here without housing, – or at least with a much lower building impact, – which would also challenge the somewhat homogeneous urban aesthetic and the somehow miniaturized scale of the proposal. But the approach towards the fjord is sensitive and well considered, and the project is exquisitely presented.
Jury remarks: This mega-structure project has much to offer as a strategic landscape approach. It focuses on the edge of the river landscape, a condition facing the hillside. The jury has interpreted the project more as a gesture, an almost literary proposal, rather than as a structure to be built. Its ability to be realised as building would require a collection of very large and coordinated programmes, in addition to a large amount of money. Nonetheless, the jury appreciates the programmatic attention given to the river, the ambition to think big accordingly and response to the landscape as the grand gesture and an important reminder to the city of its being a very special and unique spot.
Lourdes Carretero Botran
Ivan Carbajosa Gonzalez
Manuel Leira Carmena
About the site
Location: Almerket, Odda
Strategic site: 15 ha
Site proposed by: Municipality of Odda
Owners of site: Municipality of Odda
Odda is situated below a major glacier, where the fjord penetrates deep into the mountain massive of Southern Norway. Originally a major tourist destination in Europe, the exploitation of hydro electrical power in the beginning the 20th century transformed the place into a bustling international industrial town. Partial de-industrialization has left Odda with a declining population, but also with the potential for a new identity based on its architectural and industrial history, and for a renewed tourism based on its setting and proximity to two National Parks.
Odda is reclaiming its role as a tourist attraction by focusing on geotourism. The main focus is now to create a strategic urban development project that establishes a gateway between the commercial town centre, the industrial heritage area and the scenic fjordscape, glaciers and national nature reserve areas.
– Urban dwelling must be combined with sustainable forms of tourism to combine a new urban model that reduces the amount of space devoted to the car.
– The town is looking for a turning point, a strategy for turning heavy industry into a tourist attraction, and an attractive living environemnt. Existing local resources and qualities must be used to trigger new economies in a sustainable way.
– Multifunctionality is the basis for a new public character of the site. Urban qualities supplement the landscape as tourist attractors
– Development of new public spaces is crucial to reengaging the landscape qualities in the urban situation – providing for tourists and at the same time dealing with the changing lifestyles of the population.