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Nestled in the Norwegian city - Trondheim, our project lies in the mixed-use neighborhood of Østmarka. With 10 abandoned buildings spread across 12000sqm, just few years back our site was used as St. Olavs Hospital’s psychiatric department’s staff housing. Now as it awaits action, many well serviced spaces lay idle and wasted. Seeing potential for change, the “Fargemarka Boligprosjekt” formed in 2019, taking up the task of revitalizing the blocks for housing, which account for 90% of the built forms. This is where our team comes in. We wanted to support the site's rejuvenation by uplifting the remaining 10% - a health center of the past - into a thriving, inclusive community center. Our focus area is a double story building with 2 blocks - A, B, connected by a smaller section.
The existing floorplans consist of many small rooms connected through long corridors, complemented by equidistant windows. As a way forward, a majority of the outdoor structure has been retained while the inner walls have been re conceptualized to better suit the new vision of bigger and free-flowing spaces. To enhance this quality, we wanted to allow visual connection between the interiors and the exteriors. Hence with the new design, the entrances of both the blocks have been transformed into glass façades that also by default maximize the southern light and warmth. These physical interventions infuse a modern touch to the visuals, yet the wooden wall cladding and retained sloping roof ties the project to the traditional identity of Trondheim. Another attempt to improve the connectivity has been converting the connecting block into a glass bridge, where the ground space doubles up as kids’ play area. This also means that the otherwise unattended back-yard is activated and blended into the landscape.
Block A: We are welcomed into the block by a double story reception and lounge that leads us up through the multi-purpose levelled platforms. These platforms have been introduced not only for accessing the first floor (a spacious and well-lit library), but also to serve as informal and vibrant seating spaces. A vital component of these platforms are the interjecting green steps, that would ideally be used for community gardening. This will altogether encourage biophilia and a sense of communal ownership, invoking citizen engagement. The level below the library is divided into office-spaces for Fargemarka association to carry forward their work.
Block B: This block serves as a creative center with classrooms on the ground floor with flexible divisions. Next to it, a cascading staircase draws our attention up the gallery and towards striking colorful cuboids, that operate as private studios. To cater to the needs of the ongoing events, the block is supplemented by a small kitchen serving out bakery goods in a minimal capacity. Adding furthermore value, a creche is also accommodated on the ground so that the children are supervised while the adults are engaged within the center.
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