Location: Forus, Stavanger, Norway
Strategic Site: 102 ha Project Site: 4,5 ha
Commission after competition: Planning and building commission
Site proposed by: Stavanger Municipality (in collaboration with Forus Næringspark)
1. Prize: 12,000 EURO
Runner-up: 6,000 EURO
In the heart of the Norwegian petroleum industry, and at the intersection between the municipalities of Stavanger, Sola and Sandnes, lies Forus; Norway’s oil and gas capital and one of the strongest energy clusters in the world. Home to over 3000 companies, mostly from the global energy sector, Forus is the most international place in Norway.
Fuelled by the postmillennial expansions of the fossil fuel industry, Forus has been subject to immense growth and is now representing 1/5 of the total Norwegian gross domestic product. This growth, however, has been based on an industry that is facing highly uncertain prospects. The region must therefore prepare for a less oil and gas dependent future and use its knowledge and knowhow as its main commodity.
Forus is centrally located within the Stavanger region, Norway’s third largest region with more than 300 000 inhabitants. The area of Forus stretches across 3 municipalities, Stavanger, Sola and Sandnes. Stavanger municipality owns a site at the very epicenter of the new developments at Forus and is currently collaborating with its neighboring municipalities on a common municipal plan including a new, public, transportation axis across Jæren.
With the Europan competition Stavanger wants ideas for how to use their strategic site, as well as the planned, new axis, to pilot a new prototype for urban development in the area.
The site is centrally located in the area of Forus, a large four by four km plain area surrounded by farmlands to the north and south, and residential areas to the east and west. The area is currently dominated by large infrastructural corridors, big box shopping, large office complexes and parking areas. Five km to the west is Sola Airport, the 3rd largest airport in Norway. 3 km to the east is Gausel train Station and the continuous urban band stretching from Stavanger to Sandnes. Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA will construct their new 70 000 m2 headquarter just across the road from the site to the south east. A network of open water canals surrounds the site.
The planned public transportation axis across Jæren will create a new reading of the region linking the site with the urban band in the east, university in the north and Sola and the airport in the west.
The new connection can give way for a less car-based mobility in the region and possibilities for an increased mix of functions and new urban qualities along its public transportation lines.The project site, given its strategic location and surrounding urban field, should in this respect serve as a case study for how to pilot the new urban developments and thus introduce a new narrative for Forus.
The task at hand involves working in different scales and with a diverse set of mechanisms blending urban planning, programming, operative and recreational landscapes, infrastructure and communication.