The project is designed on the basis of a complex landscape texture innervated by the new axis of the public transport infrastructure in a clear interest to consider the contemporary urban space in an overall view of its constituents, besides his ‘figures' , the various recognizable objects and architectural systems, also for its background, the substrate of the signs of soil and landscape that form and govern the watermark of this area.
In the project the role of public space around the landing points of lines and nodes of public transport infrastructure present and future is to be a catalyst for regeneration and growth: the new stations will serve as an element of mediation and restart for a new development.
The project proposes a light infrastructure for high-frequency along the 13 km except in few cases, confirming the existing path of the old railway line used to transport goods along the river to Herøya. It is proposed a type of suspended multiple shuttle with the dimensions of the latest-generation tram light rail supported by structural racks.
This option of suspended shuttle allows to avoid the problem of the strong architectural barrier-ground-level between the infrastructure and the old railway path nearest bank of the river formed between people and water and allow to overcome the problem of slight differences of height along the path giving an experience of urban mobility and perception of the changes of landscape along the river and furthermore to better face the problems in the event of particularly adverse environmental conditions (snow, etc..)
Alternatively, the path can also be projected at ground level with a type of transport like trams with high frequency but must be foresee frequent pedestrian crossings to ensure accessibility to waterfront areas.
The main stops are planned in the crucial nodes of urban centers, not always they coincide with the locations of the old disused stations. Along with these four main stops are planned in other points of exchange with other transport modes or near existing or planned residential areas, dense and services on a scale more than the district one.
The stations and the urban voids
The choice of location of the stations in the four strategic nodes are thought according to an inventory of urban voids in each site with identities and differences for each. The project proposes to place the stations in the vicinity of these void areas to start a positive process of upgrading by assigning to the station the role of urban centrality also emphasized by its singular geometric position often with direct references to the landscape with respect to the texture of the site with which it comes into direct dialogue.
Under this aspects there are two great categories:
- the urban void inside the consolidated city. For the city of Skien built as an amphitheater overlooking the water is confirmed the vocation of free and wide space in close connection with the docks of Bryggeparke which becomes the stage on which urban life is staged with actors starring the citizens themselves. The station has the role of architectural wing and urban backdrop of the square-park overlooking the water. The architecture is made up of surfaces and silent spaces, volumes and masses are subject to the empty space: it is a drawn void to look the natural void of the river. A tunnel connects the light train with the traditional railway station planned under the hill. For Porsgrunn currently the largest urban void in the city is a space merely defined only by the infrastructure lines that become architectural barriers to access to the void. The project considers the large empty wedge as a hinge-space that can reconnect parts of the city overlooking the infrastructure lines: the consolidated part of the city center overlooking the river where are located the town hall and the largest urban facilities, the mixed density blocks on the west of the curved line of the railroad, the downtown shopping centers to the south, the residential area of single-family homes that face the main road crossing the city (E36) to the east, and the large school district where is located the college of Telemark. The station in this case works as ordering element and landmark buildings and other architectural features draw and regenerate the edges of the great void. The geographic position of the station resumes the geometry of the blocks of the historic center and faces dimensionally with the municipality in which it establishes a direct dialogue. The location of the station on the site is slightly north of the original position of the station to allow a better distribution of functional flows and modal interchange with other modes of transport (bus + train, bike, car etc..) and to create a direct relationship with the historic area. The architecture unlike the case of Skien is present and sculptural with operations of densification along the edges of the wedge space defined by the infrastructures.
- the void in a vast area in a landscape scale: the Menstad node is characterized by the significant fall between the rocky hill east of main road and the portion of plain sloping toward the river, now occupied by warehouses and large areas of the railway facilities alongside the current passenger train in use. The removal of part of the sheds near the water and reuse of railway areas, the eliminating the problem of free access to the waterfront makes it possible to equip Menstad a real piece of planned city that can have the quality, density and amenities of a new downtown now missing. The station is located about 500 m north of the existing one and take a diagonal position generated by a deep gorge in the rocky hill overlooking the site. The station building becomes essentially an elongated plate raised from the ground containing other urban functions and it is spectacularly cantilevered over the river, becoming a special point of landscape observation and urban square. The raising of the building from the ground makes more easy the solution of the problem of connection between the top of the hill and the residential share of the new waterfront connecting them physically. In the Herøya site of the strong presence of the industrial park and residential lots for single-family houses on opposite banks of Gunnekleivfjorden are the salient features of this area. In the top junction of the two monofunctional areas the new light train station is located slightly elevated, becoming a new focal point, landmark in the cultural landscape of Herøya, becoming hinge the between portions of different cities. Also in this site the station square becomes a privileged place of landscape observation as well as spatial and social coagulating element. The station also becomes a bridgehead for spatially linking the banks of the inner fjord with the outer one, where the river flows. An other station is also planned to serve the boat station on the river and the new homes planned on the western shore of the fjord, in front of the Hydro park.
It is possible to identifies three main themes on which the energy system is based.The purpose is the ‘20.20.20’, trying to apply the Kyoto protocol dictates to this system: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, improving the efficiency of the buildings envelope, using renewable energy.
Sun: the placement of buildings is studied as function of solar radiation to maximize the solar gains. In the south and west facades the control of the gains is made with a movable brise soleil system.
In the public buildings and in the tertiary complexes the project propose the use of the pv facades, on the south sides, to contribute to the energy needs of the new plant.
Water: The roof garden with plants and the draining surfaces allow to drain rainwater for reuse it in the public spaces.
Wood: The passive houses is one of the objectives of the building technology system proposed by the project. The building should have the energy requirement of less than 15kWh/sqm for year. In each site a district heating system, feeds the energy needs of the radiant heating system. The constructive technology should be a structure in massive wood with a wood fiber insulation and with windows in wood with triple glazing low emission. The constructive solutions aim to reduce the heat loss.
project team: gianluca evels, stefania papitto, laura mura, sebastiano maccarrone