This project is a design proposal for a performing arts center in Oslo located in the industrial outskirts of Oslo’s Centrum district. The site is a parking lot located between the Forsvarsmuseet (the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum) and the industrial waterfront. The program called for theatre, education spaces, and library spaces to create a cultural amenity for the city.
Located at the edge of an industrial zone the project site is surrounded by parking lots. The historic center of Oslo is located to the northwest and is elevated above the site. The parcel is further separated from Oslo Centrum and the Forsvarsmuseet by a busy local artery that accommodates vehicular and truck traffic.
The Civic Loop
The project uses the public space of the existing Forsvarsmuseet as a spring point for the design proposal. A new park is inserted into the existing historical context and is extended to create a public loop that is lifted above the arterial road.
This loop allows multiple access points to the building and creates an elevated park with views of the ocean and landscape beyond.
The rooftop park forms a new public amenity for the city. It is a multifaceted civic space that creates a contemplative and linear urban experience, promotes new views of the city and landscape, and creates multiple entries to the Oslo Cultural Center. Stone paving and generous plantings create a sense of civic texture and scale. The apex of the rooftop park allows for panoramic views of the ocean beyond.
The lobby of the project (located beneath the Civic Loop) is reconceived as a public node called “The Nexus” that links the upper and lower parks into a continuous experience and provides access to the project’s cultural program.
Two gently sloped ramps bring visitors from the Civic Loop (and Oslo Centrum) to the Nexus, which allows access to the proposed Waterfront Plaza.
The interior space of the Nexus is defined by a simple material palette and clean lines. The faceted metal ceiling relates to the geometry of the public space above. Light wood walls reference Scandinavian architectural tradition.
Taken together, these design gestures extend the public space of Oslo Centrum, revitalize the industrial waterfront, and create a civic program (the Cultural Center) that anchors the new public space of the city. The new waterfront plaza serves to jump-start the revitalization of the industrial waterfront.
Ground Floor Plan (Showing Nexus)
Upper Plan (Showing Loop)
Main Public Entrance
A public corridor above the theatre extends the public space of the project, creating an interior linear experience that allows visitors to enjoy panoramic views of the ocean and waterfront beyond.