Storgata in Bodø
The site for the feasibility study is defined by five blocks around Storgata, just 300 meters from the train station and 600 meters from the ferry and “hurtigrutekaia“ in the north-east. South-west of the area is Glasshuset, Stormen and the marina for the small boats, which today is regarded as the core centre of Bodø. The project area can be seen as a missing link in the axis along the north side of Bodø peninsula, and needs strengthening in order to establish a unified and compact Bodø downtown. Historically this was the commercial district of Bodø, but has been suffering in the competition of malls like City Nord. One of the focus areas in the municipal development plan (2014) is to strengthen the centre core as a development area, e.g. by allowing the establishment of additional housing.
The five blocks included in the project is part of a larger area characterized by post-war reconstruction that “Riksantikvaren” is considering giving a national heritage interest. Plans conducted by the Norwegian agency Brente Steders Regulering gave the structure for reconstruction of Bodo after the war, and the existing centre of the post-war era characterize the city's identity. A cultural heritage report commissioned by Bodø municipality in 2014 concludes that there are few of the individual buildings within the area which has great historical value in itself, and that building the environment must be viewed in the larger context so that it gives the area an identity, time-depth and preserve its qualities. What is worth saving out of the post-war reconstruction revival is the block structure frame and street grid.
In the feasibility study assumed removal of elements that make the street pattern and the post-war buildings against Storgata are little legible. This applies to the buildings within the quadrant axis facing the sea; open the roof of the post-war buildings against the façades and pavilions in the main street. Revitalization of the area Storgata, with adjoining streets, has to be managed and planned as one environment, and arranged for more people – but also for future residents with functional play-and outdoor areas. The part of Storgata that today is accessible by car is suggested to be redesigned into a shared space and eventually a car-free pedestrian street.
A study of three development strategies (infill, reconstruction and combination) with three different degrees of utilization has been the basis for how new buildings can be designed and relate to street spaces and the post-war settlement. The main concept is based on reviews from this study. By combining traditional city blocks with an interior department store organization, we create multifunctional city blocks and can offer robust spaces for business, culture and housing. External activities facing the street, consecutive areas inside the blocks on the lower level, and residential areas on the upper level. This forms urban life and neighbour hoods suited all ages, at different times of the day. By keeping the post war- construction as framework, this part of the centre will be an attractive alternative for those who want to stay and live in the city.
This work is a base and start of a regulation plan directed by Bodø municipality. Fieldtrips, workshops and discussions with Bodø municipality and various interest groups have been guiding the process. The project was carried out between May and October 2016.