© 2019 by David Rowan Johnson

BODØ REFLECTIONS

2008 | COMPETITION

COLLABORATORS: CHRIS WHITE + AARON HENDERSON

Bodø's unique geographic conditions challenge its architecture to be equally unique. Prolonged darkness gives man the opportunity to create the light of his own city. Only in prolonged light can man appreciate a perpetual oasis of warm, open shade.

Site / Promenade

 

Site: three conditions of symmetry   

Time-light Symmetry: Bodø Sun  

In analyzing the sun chart of Bodø (67°66’ North - 14°22’ East), the one month of night and one month of day is a unique and significant phenomenon. There is a possibility to introduce an artificial source of light which brightens the long darkness in the winter, attracting the inhabitants of Bodø to engage both buildings.

 Vertical Symmetry: The reflecting sea   

To build this new sun for the city, we will take advantage of its location near the sea. Water duplicates the presence of an object through reflection, the reflection line dissolves with degrees of vibration.  The Nye Kuturhus (BKN) is a lighted public arcade that extends into the sea with a semicircular outline, the reflection of which forms a huge disc of light.   

Horizontal Symmetry: Two poles and a promenade   

One pole is defined by the blocks 100 and 105, and the second by the Pier Root site. Both are facing each other, containing a virtual axis of symmetry in the water. Both are connected by what could be a very interesting urban landscape, the harbor promenade. Our proposal locates the Slooping Museum on the Pier Root Site, facing the quay front and the harbor, and leaves the more complex program to the second pole. The Nye Kulturhus is located on block 105 and face the harbor, and the library, the international center, etc, are located in the spacious block 100.  There is a formal relationship between the two buildings; the Nye Kulturhus is an index to the form of the museum, which suggests one building being pulled from the other.  There is a coherent structural system based on parabolic geometries and a common membrane that allows the possibility of both reflecting and emitting light over its entire surface. 

Promenade: an urban landscape  

Of equal importance as the buildings will be the attractiveness of the urban space that connects them. The project addresses this space with wooden and glass strips as the basic cells that, in multiple combinations, would generate the individual elements needed to urbanize these spaces:  

1. Wind shelter: the wooden walkway folds to create a shelter that will attenuate the severe wind blowing across the harbor.   
2. Benches:  both as folded wood and cubic translucent glass emerging from the walkway.   
3. Planters: some voids are inserted between the cells that allow vegetation to grow.  
4. Light lines: below the boardwalk, lights project upwards forming an entropic landscape through the promenade.  
5. Light displays: emerging from the walk as translucent monoliths, they will extend the inner exhibition program to the outdoors. They can be used to display information, or as art frames to display temporary digital work. 

All the described elements are scattered between the twelve main lines that run from the Slooping Museum to the Nye Kulturhus.

Kulturhus/ Library


The Kulturhus will transform the waterfront of Bodø with light.  Light will make the hall itself a destination not only for cultural events, but as everyday social space.The marina will be a landscape of bright warmth in the darkness of night and winter, with the Kulturhus serving as the Bodø Sun.  The large face of the arched shell will radiate light outwards on the entire waterfront area.  

The proposal places in blocks 100 and 105 a complex hybrid building that emerges from the smaller and fragmented urban scale of the adjacent buildings, climbs vertically, merges into one form, and ends with a unified ring of light facing the harbor. A sheltered, open-air piazza provides Bodø's residents a refuge from the dark, windy  winter months.  Cafes border the piazza with tables, and the leeward-facing view of the marina, framed with a series of high wooden arches, keeps out the northwest wind and overlooks the illuminated marina and Slooping Museum.
  
The building reads as a cascade of light that connects both blocks with a bridge above Halogalandsqata Street. The ground floor of the Kulturhus is divided into two areas:  public gathering space, and theater support areas.  Just inside the sheltered public plaza, ticket sales, restrooms, and cloak rooms receive concert goers. A facade of treated glazing separates the interior space from the piazza.  The marina is visible through parabolic glazed arches which speak to the Slooping Museum directly across the water.

The form of this large foyer space comes directly form the theater floor which swoops overhead, with wooden planks that conjure the hull of a huge ship resting on the soaring glass wall.

A restaurant is located above the main theatre, providing beautiful views of the harbor.  The libraries, showrooms, cafeterias, international center and rhythmic center are located on block 100. A central covered street gives access to these programs, connecting a unified, continuous space below the singular translucent roof. In the upper level, the circulation surrounds the high space of the libraries. Here we find other services, like the newspapers, collections, seating room and the administration offices

 

Slooping Museum

 

The Slooping Museum is chiefly for the purpose of exhibiting Bodø's maritime history and heritage.  The proposal locates the museum on the pier root site facing the quay,  where the main exhibition piece is the last remaing Nordlandsjekt, “Anna Karoline”, displayed through the center room of the building.  Also included in the Museum is a small restaurant & snack bar, classroom, small presentation hall, office space, and additional exhibition space.

The space is wholly day-lit by the fully glazed facades at east and west.  The different light quality over both the course of the day and the year changes the atmosphere and experience of visiting the museum continually.

The form of the museum is determined by the geometry of a parabola.  The profile of the shell registers three intersecting parabolas.  At these intersections, parabolic openings connect the interior spaces transversely across the museum.

The form of these parabolas are taken directly from the apertures on the face of the Kulturhus, which faces the museum across the marina.  The direct correlation between these two building forms creates a strong visual continuity across the harbor.

The main public areas of the museum are located on the ground level.  An open plan, divided into three parallel sections, accommodate the major public programs.  The entrance to the museum opens directly to the ticket counter.  Adjacent to the ticket counter, the restaurant has a view of the city and sea to the west.

The central exhibit space, steps down below grade, allowing visitors to get face to face with hull of the ship.  From this lower space, visitors have have access to a classroom and small meeting hall.  Also below grade, office space and museum storage lie below the secondary exhibit space.

The secondary exhibit space is designed to accommodate both permanent and temporary installations.