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Europan 15: Productive Cities 2

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City: Raufoss
Title: Point Cloud

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Situated between the town and the Industrial Park, the site’s potential to create synergies imposes the idea of a campus. A campus is a site of living and working; of education and cultural exchange; a mix of people and programs; a city and a park. This vision is implemented on the site. A campus is pulsating around the clock, and the famous OMA diagram of their Yokohama masterplan inspires a Raufoss version, highlighting the fact that the shifts of the industrial park trigger movement and meetings at odd hours.

Today, the site is occupied by huge parking areas, which is difficult to unify with a public park. Two strategies are put in place in order to free up space on the ground. First, parking towers with a minimal footprint are established, towering above the shopping mall like needles. These lightweight structures are proposed instead of putting the parking in a basement, as they provide a great deal of flexibility. While an underground parking garage is expensive to build, it also occupies a lot of space that could be used for other programs. A parking tower has a minimal footprint, and the lightweight structure is easily dismantled in a future car-free scenario. It could also provide infrastructure for electric charging, or even become a hub for driverless cars.

A similar strategy is put in place in the existing garage. Instead of removing any spots, new floors are added to provide more, yet planned for facilitating a slow transformation by gradually exchanging parking spots for other programs. First introducing workshops, a makerspace and startup labs connected to the industrial park the library and the high school – which is possible even within the current structure -, the space could eventually turn into a new type of productive library. Until then it’s an everexpanding and contracting experiment of cars, students, bikes, electricity, exhaust and creativity.

After freeing up ground space and establishing the site as a public park, the next step would be to add sculptures and pavilions. In this case, the sculptures would be industrial parts and pieces which would provide an identity to the place, while telling the story of the local industry. Together with the new axis running from the south of the site, up across the river to Building number 5 and the new entrance to the park, the area would become a new interface between industry and town. The pavilions in the park would be slender point houses with public program on the ground floor, ensuring a mix of program and a park filled with leisure, culture and life. The proximity of the shopping center and main street liberates the park of commercial program, with focus remaining on productivity and meeting places.

While the industrial park requires a somewhat imposing security fence, this does not mean it cannot be further integrated with the town of Raufoss. Instead of new development infiltrating the industrial park, the industry is extended and made present in the town. The overall structure is found in the axes of the industrial park, creating a framework for future development, ensuring coherence in the urban structure.

While the retired couple has breakfast in the cafeteria, an industrial worker starts her shift. A factory supervisor collects his bike from the bike hotel after a hard night’s work, while the student is going home from the pub. Programs in the park build upon the continuous flows from the industry, while connecting to the cyclical flows of the town. The cafeteria is thought to be open 24 hours, to accommodate the different shifts of the industrial park, and be a meeting place at all hours. For inhabitants such as
students and elderly, this space would function as an extension of their own kitchen. The grocery store could have a tiny satellite in the park, open around the clock and on Sundays, as a gesture to the shift workers and student night owls.

The site would undergo a slow transformation, allowing each step to be properly integrated. From its current state as a backyard, the thin parking towers would be the beacons of a sustainable future of technological solutions. The bustling park would become the new interface between industry and town, dotted with the dwellings of students, commuters, elderly, families and visiting workers. The park would tell the story of the industry’s past present and future, and new functions such as the museum would mark the beginning of a gradual opening of the park, giving the locals a stronger sense of belonging and pridein the world-class industrial hub. A pulsating campus of culture, education, production and leisure, never asleep, just like the machines in the factories. Welcome to Raufoss!