Location: Strusshamn, Norway
Architect: Eriksen Skajaa Architects –http://cargocollective.com/eriksenskajaa
Site: 10 000m2
Client: Askøy Kommunale Eiendomsselskap
Project Team: Joakim Skajaa, Arild Eriksen and Nora Aursand Iversen.
Collaboration: Bjørbekk og Lindheim Landscape Architects, Bygganalyse AS
Illustrations: Eriksen Skajaa Architects and Mir Visuals
Strusshamn is a settlement on the southwest side of Askøy, an island outside of Bergen on the west coast of Norway, with strong ties to the ocean. The fjord was used for transport due to lack of roads and it was an important economic resource. When this changed and the car became the most important way of communication two centres developed without a clear connection to each other.
The site in Strusshamn is a former boat building factory for Viksund Boats that was bought by the municipality to make a new zoning plan to avoid heavy industry to be established in the future in the old, preserved harbour environment. In our study we are looking for a way to connect the two parts of Strusshamn. By simple means like improving and defining different surfaces, re-establishing a hidden river, and introducing public spaces of different character we redefine Strusshamn and prepare for the integration of the new development at the Viksund site.
Strusshamn has a lot of different public services and mainly small-scale cultural activity. A combination of culture production and maritime culture can give Strusshamn the uniqueness that is needed to turn the place into both a good place to live and an interesting destination. We have introduced small culture ”boathouses” that will make a supplement to the housing as artist’s studios and small shops. They will provide public life and reintroduce small-scale commerce to this once so lively harbour area. The culture “boathouses” can be rented separately or combined to make larger units.
The study examines three different combinations of density and program on the site, but with a similar layout and approach to the site. The layout is based on analysis of climate and landscape with an aim to create good public spaces and buildings with access to light and the spectacular view the landscape offers. A continuous public space with piers, public spaces, a promenade and backyards attach the new development to the rest of Strusshamn. A central canal on the site connects the two parts of the site together and increases the quality of both and this way not only the houses on the waterfront have access to the qualities of the harbour environment. Towards the fjord to the south lies a large public space for the whole of Strusshamn.
The new development is based on the historical buildings in Strusshamn. Small volumes that sometimes grow together and create larger units characterize the historical buildings. The buildings are close to the water and create spaces between that vary in size and quality. With those aspects in mind, the new development is a continuation and extension of the historical place, while at the same time demonstrating the possibilities of developing these kinds of sites into areas with more dense or urban structures.