JAJA Architects recently shared first prize for ideas competition for the development of Åndalsnes in Norway. “The Landscape Loop” is a project that emphasizes, improves and connects the inherent qualities of Aandalsnes to one unified entity. It is a project that gathers the city’s development within a belt that wraps around the town core – creating a series of “blue” and “green” urban spaces while establishing natural connections between city and landscape.
The project finds its inspiration in the surrounding landscape that constitutes the city’s beautiful and ever changing scenery where each hour, each day and each season offers new landscape impressions – and with it different opportunities and new potentials.
Aandalsnes is a small town with 3000 inhabitants. Encircled by fjords and mountains, the city is placed in beautiful surroundings that annually attracts thousands of bypassing summer tourists. However, despite its proximity to amazing nature and massive flow of tourists, the town of Aandalsnes has not been able to create a lively town and exploit its fantastic location.
Today, the town has a considerable facade towards the water but it is used only sporadically by private or ramshackle buildings. Empty properties create undefined urban spaces that are neither inviting nor useful. Thousands of tourists from the massive cruise ships are met by a vast parking lot that does not give any reason for a longer stay – and merely makes the city a pit stop in their further journey. The majority of the citizens live outside the inner area which makes the town appear deserted and lifeless after opening-hours. It is obvious that the nature is the Aandalsnes’s greatest asset but despite of this it appears absent in the urban scenery.
We suggest to re-introduce nature into the urban space with an encircling Landscape Loop. The Loop will become the city’s new backdrop that gives inhabitants and tourists a constant proximity to the surrounding landscape – all year long. It will become a frame around the town that encourages a compact urban development, an intricate network of streets, plazas and courtyards that breathes urban life around the town.
SOURCE: JAJA Architects
IMAGE CREDIT & COPYRIGHT: JAJA Architects