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Europan 14: Productive Cities


City: Narvik
Title: Cultivating the in betweens

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To reach at an integrated public realm, sensitivity to the existing environment is required along with an interdisciplinary dialogue of all agents and stakeholders. For the Technical Quarter, success is to be measured by how busy and lived this place is with people, both local and from elsewhere and whether a spirit of place can be perceived.

We propose a dynamic city with “multi-use buildings” able to host different attractive functions while integrating their management to make them compatible with the different use rhythms. A productive quarter that creates the opportunity for research, innovation, growth amid recycling, social interactions and urbanity is vital to create an urban arena so the young people will stay in Narvik.

The starting point for the project is a radical preservation of the existing buildings, both for their historic value as for their material worth. The reuse of the existing is a basic criteria of sustainability. The «gray energy» is often discarded or simply ignored. If we demolish an existing structure and build again, we will use more energy and resources than the most efficient of buildings can save in its life span. All constructions will be adapted with the set of criteria for sustainability, leading to different approaches. In most of the buildings, the adaptations will be invisible. In few constructions, the adaptation will transform lightly the image of the building, using an added skin as a thermodynamic improvement but also as a device to integrate it visually in the surrounding. In between spaces are to reinvent and infuse identity in to a place. Places have the capacity to flourish and reinvent themselves if they are able to reflect their true spirit of the place. This new spatial form has emerged and has been continuously generated on space between the workshops and garages building, administration of Narvik School of Culture, Astrupgården, Sentrumsgården, Narvik Fire department, the Technical Town Hall, OT-gården and the Bromsgårds Park.

Proposal seeks to depict the peculiar conditions and features of these urban forum that can be referred to as the ‘zone of common differences’. It portrays the formation of ‘In-betweenness’ as the consequence of public space transformation process within the area. The proposal ultimately unfolds the ‘In-betweenness’ as a continuous, boundariless spaces composed of different nubs evolved mostly as an output of planned joint decisions.