AART architects reveal the first building phase of the Waterfront development one of the largest wooden residential developments in Europe. Located on the edge of Stavanger harbour front, the 19,500 m2 development transforms the former industrial area into a recreational part of town. Stavanger is the third largest metropolitan area in Norway, and has the highest concentration of wooden architecture in Northern Europe.
Stavanger’s core is to a large degree made up of 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are considered part of the city’s cultural heritage. The vision behind the Waterfront development is thus to refine the city’s wooden architectural tradition by creating an iconic and vibrant residential development, expressing both a local identity and a global vision.
Focusing on social diversity, sustainable design and innovative wooden architecture, the Waterfront development has been designed as one of the largest wooden residential developments in Europe, with a view to positioning Stavanger as a pioneering city within the field of modern wooden architecture.
Designed by AART architects in cooperation with Studio Ludo , in many ways, it expresses the essence of the city by refining the city’s wooden architectural tradition, while also interpreting the Norwegian landscape. This context (cultural and geographical) was the main structural idea behind the design, as the Waterfront development further develops local building methods.
At the same time, it blurs the boundary between the urban space and the dramatic Norwegian landscape by appearing as a mountain range of wood on the edge between the city and the sea. The Waterfront development attaches great importance to the outdoor areas, and is laid out in such a way that most utilises the unique location, promotes social communities and enriches users’ everyday life. In general, the outdoor areas are divided into two zones, namely, the promenade and the central community square.
Both the promenade and the community square are fully accessible to the public. The promenade surrounds the Waterfront development towards the sea and reaches all the way to the city centre, linking the new wooden development with the historical wooden houses at the core of the city. In this way, the promenade creates a clear line and a natural flow between the recreational atmosphere at the waterfront and the urban and historical atmosphere in the city centre.
The cafés and shops on the ground floor towards the promenade accentuate the Waterfront development’s recreational and accommodating atmosphere. By promoting social interaction and piquing the pedestrian’s curiosity, the cafés and shops carefully articulate a form of ‘moments’, which, together with the wooden façades, give the building complex a human scale and a rich architectural quality.
The recreational atmosphere is further accentuated by the flight of stairs and the wooden terrace that connect the community square with the promenade. Besides appearing as connecting links, the flight of stairs and the wooden terrace appear as casual meeting points, promoting social interaction and a sense of community. In addition, the flight of stairs and the wooden terrace are designed and oriented towards the sea, so that users can allow themselves to be captivated and soothed by the magnificent view.
SUSTAINABLE LIVING / the eco-friendly design
The Waterfront was designed using Integrated Energy Design (IED); whereby, the design premises and goals were identified at the very start of the design process. The Waterfront development’s sustainable ambition is also manifest in its extensive but careful use of wood. In addition, the façade and the roof are covered with eco-labelled Moelven ThermoWood. Moelven ThermoWood is a heat-treated wood from Scandinavia’s own forests and it is proof of the fact that tradition and innovation can go hand in hand.
The Waterfront is the winning proposal in an international architecture competition to design a new residential development at Stavanger harbour front, Norway. The residential development consists of 128 freehold flats, a variety of communal facilities, a central community square, green park areas and a promenade. More than 80 architectural firms from around the world participated in the competition. Source by AART architects.
Location: Stavanger harbour, Norway
Architects: AART architects and Studio Ludo Status
Area: 19,500 m2
Year: The first phase June 2014, The second phase building will be completed in 2015
Client: Kruse-Smith (developer) Stavanger :2008 and NAL|NABU (original contracting authority)
Images: Courtesy by AART architects