Trondheim's primal asset in establishing itself as its own definition or brand of City of Knowledge relies on the powress of its higher education institutions. Building upon the existing knowledge base and a rapidly developing creative industry, and combined with the town's attractive features, Trondheim can develop the driving force to establish itself as a the focus of regional growth, balancing out to some extent the dominating role of Oslo at national level.
Current debates on the universities' role in such strategy are centred on assessing the potential benefits of co-locating different faculties in a new campus. In fact, arguments opposing this move are at present gaining the upper hand. Our proposal stems from the strategic Importance of developing such as an environment, fleshing out the latent opportunities that would be fulfilled through it. These would be:
- A multi-tenanted campus would maximise the exchanges between education, research and industry agents.
- The campus would become an identified centre for interaction between town and university.
- Showcase urbanism.
How can the campus be developed in a sustainable and viable fashion over time? What would be the spatial an programmatic definition of such an urban domain?
HUBS IN THE PARK
The extended park marks the location of the future campus. It is to be colonised in a loose structure by a number of scattered buildings with diverse programmes packed into robust hubs built around internalised public spaces (atria, galleries, rooftop greenhouses). The formal and programmatic definition of these ' warm icebergs' allows enough flexibility to encourage the occurence of informal exchanges and unchartered encounters.
Each hub, located at the nodes of the camous 'warm path network, is characterised by a certain degree of specialisation. By virtue of their size and separation from each other buildings are allowed to feed off each other. In essence, what is envisaged is a collegiate structure, where each building can operate as an individual mix-use institution within the overall framework of the knowledge campus.
A PATH FOR ALL SEASONS
The competition brief touches upon an important array of questions and expectations, ranging from the very specific to the highly speculative. This is but a reflection of the scope of the potential agents involved and their differing needs. Add to this the diffused and disjointed urban environment where the site is located and it becomes apparent that any urban intervention must operate from a set of internalised parameters. The orange axis (as opposed to the green one proposed by the local development plan) is introduce as a somehow alien element that nevertheless establishes a clear line of action.
The link between the Gloshaugen plateau and the Nidelva river is designed as a continuous linear public space dotted with a sequence of varying programmes, including the proposed students' hall of residence.
It is envisaged as an acclimatised street, a warm path with below surface heating that allows for an all-year usage. The orange axis constructs an easily recognisable image of the new campus, restructures the existing urban structure, and provides an infrastructural anchor for future development.
HARDEN AND SOFTEN
A two tier strategy accommodates short and long term solutions, allowing for simultaneous processes of urban growth and regeneration and the use of specific planning tools for each of these. Two strands, one hard (orange), the other soft (green). The first addresses the connection between the NTU campus and the river. A built axis that, by including a large underground car park, frees up the plots for future development (highlighting in fact the need to take action). A linear infrastructure that concentrates pedestrian and vehicular flows, becomes the ready-made image of the new campus, and anchors vital connections for future development. The latter strand relies on an extension of the existing hillside park, creating a green mat that will mature over time.
The urban strategy of this project is to extend the campus park, and to mix university and other urban programmes together in new built structures, sort of “hubs” that are connected in a new network, that includes a new underpass under the street. the new student housing is such a “hub”. this network is drawn into the building as an interior street that crosses the extravagant interior space of the housing block. the project is thorough well presented, and introduces some fresh ideas that challenge the conventional relationship between public and private space, but everything is presented solely as a diagram. the student building is underdeveloped but with some fresh ideas.
Team leader: Vanessa Cerezo (Sp)
Associates: Rodrigo O’Malley (Ie), Gabriela Sanz (Sp) Collaborators: Omar Rincon (CO), Ana Maria Suarez (CO)
Calle Carmen, 8 4c, 28013 Madrid, Spain
+34 915 229 482
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