Through The Looking Glass
The project aims to generate a similar experience for the citizens of Kristiansand to the one Alice encountered by crossing the mirror to discover a magical place that changed the perception of her world as it expanded its limits. A looking-glass is not a mirror. It should not aim to reproduce a perfect, identical copy. Such a sterile procedure would eschew all difference and negate the possibilities of becoming. A looking-glass should be a sensitive instrument, an artifice that enables, inspires and engages transformation. Two strategies are used in the project: modification by extension and perversion by substitution, creating a chain of relations between programmes, meanings and potentials in the site, while connecting with the rest of the city through a series of referential public use elements along the study area.
The competition brief asks how the new programmes should contribute to the restructuring of the area by extracting existing qualities and giving the local centre a clearer identity and structure. The jury has selected two projects that work with the existing nature qualities of the site.
Both projects put forth the hypothesis "what if we let the nature of the place take over the whole site?"
"Through the looking glass" creates a completely new landscape structure. Nature is used as a reference for the project's atmosphere and the visual qualities. A whole new landscape of buildings and public spaces is designed, based on a complex organic geometry. The forest is reflected as an image in the façades. In Through The Looking Glass buildings and public spaces are shaped as one integrated organic landscape.
The project has beautiful architectural solutions and manages to establish both a poetic and romantic relationship towards nature.