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Europan 14: Productive Cities


City: Alta
Title: Hyperborea

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Alta is a town out of the ordinary: it is capable of creating new means of production and use the harbor as the hub of a post-carbon economy. The project intends to put human activities in direct contact with this extreme and unique environment.

The proposal is pragmatic in implementing the existing town-fabric and structures, visionary in explicitly developing a project capable of regenerating Skiferkaya. This idea is linked to the general ambition of Alta to create a manifesto of new urbanity, by rethinking the harbour as the engine of future development.

The slate industry heritage is turned into an urban machine: a catalyst based on cluster activities as an urban way of life. Opened up to the public, the large space can be filled with daily uses. The harbour will host outdoor activities and nature experiences, various events and daily public life all at once. In this inclusive and hybrid mix, the project finds its power, combining the qualities of the existing buildings, the vitality of cluster-like companies with multiple uses. By revitalizing existing industrial structures with a productive and cultural program, regenerating the shoreline through new forms of ecological production and outdoor activities, Skiferkaya Urban Park will become a new production paradigm. It is a place that invites the visitors and the community to meet and work in a true contemporary environment. Simple in set-up, yet full of possibilities in use, New Skiferkaya has the scale and size to become a key destination for the community and a public attractor, adding up to the landscape and the future lifestyles of Finnmark region.

The intervention calls for local actors, resources and craftsmens to be directly involved in the development to undertake common projects, make material archives available, hold workshops and events. The new creative cluster in Skierkaya strives for development of crafts and trades from the region through four dimensions of sustainability: economic sustainability by maintaining and creating local jobs and training opportunities; ecological sustainability by producing long-term goods for daily use; social sustainability by establishing trusting relationships and personal connections; cultural sustainability by preserving the quality of crafts and ensuring cultural continuity.

By processing special building types and methods, the New Skiferkaya will have the opportunity to become leader in Finnmark, both in terms of digital and manual innovation.