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Contingency City / AHO WORKS Fall 2020 Digital Exhibition

In Transit 6Contingency planningCollective CentersExhibition Oslo
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CONTINGENCY CITY - The Architecture of Preparedness

IN TRANSIT STUDIO 6 TEAM Lina Dovydenaite, Carina Lovise Forsmo, Julie Christine Krogstad, Karen Stormoen Mykland, Marie Mork Nielsen, Tord Mardoff Nielsen, Tu Uyen Phan-Nguyen, Helle Brænd Rabbås, Camila Urrego, Yukang Yang

Teachers: Håvard Breivik-Khan, Tone Selmer-Olsen, Paul-Antoine Lucas

Welcome to this digital exhibition - an online alternative and the In Transit Studio's contribution to the AHO WORKS Exhibition, that usually takes place at the AHO at the end of every semester. What follows are findings and project proposals developed between 20 August and 11 December 2020.

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

Contingency is a future event or circumstance which is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty. To ensure the safety of their citizens and to uphold critical functions and infrastructure in the event of an emergency, governments, local authorities, businesses, and other societal actors need to plan for the unknown by determining prioritized actions that can be rapidly implemented. A contingency plan is also sometimes called a Plan B.

The built response to displacement management is quite often improvised. Structures are hastily put together, often spatially and socially insignificant to the communities in which they are placed. In theory, as described in literature providing guidance on contingency planning and displacement management, temporary structures are put up when needed and then removed when not in use. This also means that the built environments in displacement management are treated as technical interventions, in which social conditions are not prioritized, sometimes not even considered. The high numbers of people seeking sanctuary in Europe in 2015 demonstrated that the collective emergency preparedness of European countries fell short. The political decision to prevent people from coming to Norway in the subsequent years, also meant that the improvised solutions that had been built during the alleged crisis, had to be scaled down shortly after. What if instead the architecture, landscape architecture and urban design could be better integrated in contingency planning? The preferred option, Plan A, with purpose-built, multi-performing structures used for everyday activities, and designed and built to also withstand cycles of extreme use?

THE COLLECTIVE CENTER

A Collective center is defined - in emergency contexts – as pre-existing buildings used for temporary accommodation and provision of assistance and protection of displaced persons. Purpose-built collective centers are rare. Even in Norway, asylum and reception centers (one type of a collective center) are often located in buildings unsuitable for habitation and sometimes placed in so-called leftover spaces. Most collective centers are used only for a couple of days or weeks, in other contexts they may be used for a decade or more. With new types of threats, with climate change, and displacement being a constant phenomenon – either because of internal movement or caused by (forced) migration – what does the 2020 version of the Collective Center look like? Where are they placed in our communities? How can these centers be turned into positive places with added value for a neighborhood?

What follows are highlights from the eight project proposals.

RESOURCEFUL COMMUNITY

Author: Julie Christine Krogstad

Site: St. Halvards gate (Gamlebyen)

St. Halvards gate in Gamlebyen district, Oslo ©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

Text by author

The Resourceful community project is a 300 meter long building that connects a variety of neighbourhood resources, prepared to accommodate 250 displaced persons (at maximum capacity) at any time. The project proposal aims at highlighting the duality between everyday life and the state of emergency in a community, and the opportunities that lie in-between. Through architectural and urban design interventions included in the project proposal, spaces for small and local businesses – increasingly threatened by urban development – are preserved to facilitate for and generate new and existing potentials in the neighbourhood, and functions as an arena facilitating for and generating new and existing potentials. The different entities are encouraged to work together and collaborate, and programs with assets of great contingency-value would be amplified by design interventions, improved circulation and accessibility, and serve as key actors during an emergency – to sustain the sense of community in either situation.

©In Transit Studio

Gamlebyen district in Oslo is located on the east side of the city center, and is the city's first and oldest district. The area is like a collage of historical layers, from the medieval town and river course of the time (now hidden by cargo train tracks), to today's skate parks and cargo train tracks. Both the strengths and challenges of Gamlebyen lie in the collision between history, development and future. The strong presence of local resources and their self-initiated projects have resulted in many temporary use permits, creation of new public spaces, urban agriculture and a wave of local participation.

©In Transit Studio

STRATEGY

The aim of the project is to present a city level strategy for the everyday and potential emergency situations – a strategy that is applicable to similar situations – by using a 300 meter long strip of the St. Halvards Gate as a case for developing a neighborhood level contingency plan through a two-step process:

1) conduct an urban profiling analysis and pinpoint the existing assets and potential shortcomings, and

2) develop a corresponding architectural and urban design project proposal.

I am responding to the following challenges, and basing my project proposal on the following:

ZONING: RESILIENCE IN LOCAL INITIATIVES

Despite lower wages and higher rates of unemployment, compared with average Oslo numbers (SSB, 2019), there are several local well-organized initiatives and resources in Gamlebyen. The area has for years been lacking an overall strategic zoning-plan, as urban potentials have been neglected compared to other parts of the city. As a consequence, the area has had slower urban development, and the several available open spaces and low-cost sites for rent have been utilized for local projects. In other words, spaces facilitating creative and (new) low-threshold initiatives already have a strong presence in the area.

The urban landscape of Gamlebyen is dominated by train tracks, and Bane NOR, a state-owned company responsible for the Norwegian national railway infrastructure, acts as one of the most influential stakeholders in the area. The Bane NOR plot stretches from east to the city center, resulting in great deals of land owned by the state-owned developer. For maintenance and safety-concerns, there is a buffer area– a continuous eight meter offset in both directions of the tracks, also owned by the same company (Bane NOR, 2018). This piece of land is currently not used by them, but instead by the neighbourhood. Initiatives like urban farming, skateparks, concert- and theatre stages and bicycle repair-shops are examples of programs utilizing these plots, provided through temporary use permits.

The area is at a crossroads, greater development projects are yet to be found in Oslo's first district. However many stakeholders are pushing for greater regional plans and are ready for action. Historically, the first structures to be replaced are the ones of low listing, value, temporary, pop-up initiatives, that do not have a permanent physical presence. Already many small businesses are in danger of bankruptcy after major infrastructure, such as trams and busses, has been moved from its streets.

The strategy attempts to create a more permanent arena for new and existing initiatives, whether initially temporary, pop-up or established small businesses. As already demonstrated by Gamlebyen actors, providing spaces generate new and exciting low threshold programs for the neighbourhood, and the goal is for these initiatives to be able to withstand the impact of greater development.

2. EMERGENCY RESPONSIBILITY

Oslo Municipality proposes that each big institution must have its own contingency plan, but also presents the concept of self-readiness, the idea in which each individual must be prepared to fully take care of themselves for a certain amount of time (Oslo Kommune, ). This part of the strategy proposes to merge these two municipal contingency approaches, where individuals, small and big businesses collaborate in a state of emergency, contributing to the larger response efforts. The project proposes how to prepare a neighbourhood to fill this role and act together, by utilizing the resources close to each other, improving spatial conditions and adding functions needed.

This approach for developing to a contingency plan entails a responsibility within each institution or stakeholder, appointing local wardens responsible for the strategic organization in the shift from an everyday situation to a state of emergency – Also providing jobs for the responsible stakeholders, during a time of crisis.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

PROGRAMS:

There are five businesses already present on site: Fuglen Coffee Roasters, Gamlebyen Mat & Drikke catering, Lodalen Bilpleie, Andenæs VVS and Elektrogården, a bigger electric company.

Four programs are proposed to inhabit the new structures, businesses that today are in danger of demolishment, replacement or bankruptcy: Gamlebyen Sport og Fritid (GSF), Gamlebyen Delikatesse, Pippi Fotostudio and Galleri Mini.

Four temporary initiatives are also proposed to take part in this area, as their sites today are either endangered or have potential of expansion: Krakabøla pop-up market, a children's playground, skatepark and urban farming.

Finally, the project proposes a way for these programs to collaborate, established, new, temporary or permanent:

Gamlebyen Sport og Fritid (GSF) is today located in a one-floor wooden house, and there is already a construction application under review to demolish and replace it with a housing project. It facilitates today for yoga classes and an event room with a bar for rent. There is great potential for this small business to expand, but also collaborate with other temporary initiatives in the area, as mentioned above. GSF would serve as a warden during an emergency, and also be in charge of providing public space/living room for the guests.

Gamlebyen Delikatesse is today at risk of bankruptcy, as it is a very small business. It is located in a previously busy intersection with all major infrastructure in close proximity. With the changes in regional plans and the removal of the tramline from its street, businesses are struggling. Today the shop is selling local produce such as sourdough-bread, cheese and meats. There is great potential for expansion, and the business has a natural connection to anything locally produced, such as urban farming, but also the existing programs Fuglen Coffee Roaster and Gamlebyen Mat & Drikke catering. Gamlebyen Delikatesse would serve as a warden during an emergency, and also be in charge of food storage and rations.

Pippi Fotostudio + Galleri Mini are two small businesses located in buildings of poor shape. Having them work together and share rent in a new structure, could generate more activity and new collaborations. They are located on the far end of the project facing the strange triangle outdoor space that could function as an outdoor gallery space. Both businesses would serve as wardens during an emergency, and provide recreational activities during times of uncertainty.

©In Transit

ST. HALVARDS GATE INTEGRATION CENTER

Authors: Carina Lovise Forsmo & Marie Mork Nielsen

Site: St. Halvards gate (Gamlebyen)

Model photo of St.Halvards gate ©In Transit Studio

Text by authors

In a world with an ongoing pandemic situation, accompanied by the evolving climate crisis, war and conflicts between countries, the already huge group of vulnerable refugees grows bigger every day.Norway ́s drastic decline in asylum reception centers does not correspond to the world's ever-increasing refugee crisis. For the eight year in a row, there is a rise in the amount of people forced to flee their country due to war, conflict, persecution or human rights violations. At the beginning of 2020, 79.5 million people were on the run. The faith of these almost 80 million people concerns us all, but the help they receive from the European governments is far from what we should be able to provide. The refugee crisis becomes a part of a very tense and complex political discussion, but sometimes we forget that this is actually about real humans' basic needs to survive. About half of these people are children who have been deprived of the right to a childhood. In 2016, Norway had 240 asylum reception centers spread around the country. Today only 20 of these remains, and none of them exist in the municipality of Oslo. There are no statistics indicating that the number of refugees in the world is declining, sowhy are we continuing to close down the asylum reception centers?

By developing better and sustainable integration models we believe in a potential of increasing the capacity of accomodation, protection and help to these people. The school functions asa community builder and divides Oslo into 28 different districts. We have looked into an urban strategy where the already existing position of the school as a center in the local community can play an important role as acatalysator for integration. By gathering people through different public events that often find place at the school, such as flea markets, election etc., and sharing some of the common programs that both the integration centre and school needs, hopefully it will gather people within the community and open to human meetings in new ways. The project aims to normalize people's everyday life and build up under a feeling of community and affiliation, no matter which crisis you find yourself in.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

We have chosen the site in St. Halvards gate in Gamlebyen as a pilot for this model. St. Halvards gate is strongly characterizedby local resources and processes. Temporary use permits result in new public spaces, and local development is sometimes shaped into more permanent structures over time. Yet in general, there is a lack of public space and parks for people to use. The playgrounds of the area function as successful urban pockets, but can get crowded during the day. Children are often associated with a greater openness that can benefit the integration. Through playful imagination and activities, children tend to forget origins, religion and culture, completely unimportant things for the social interaction with other children. The primary school is an important factor when it comes to bringing children together. Yet, the neighborhood of St. Halvardsgate is in need of a low threshold space for children to gather after schooltime. KIGO, Kultur i Gamle Oslo, is an initiative by two former teachers at Gamlebyen primary school, as a response to the lack of a cultural arena for children and youth. KIGO creates meeting places where children and young people can express themselves and enjoy cultural experiences together. KIGO is free and offers a great deal of activity for the children in the district of Gamle Oslo, youth choir, sound studio, dance classes etc. By upgrading some of the lacking programs of the school and the neighbourhood, such as a school kitchen, premises for events and urban farming, it creates a symbiosis between the integration center, theschool and the local community. The new integration centre in St. Halvards gate will have the capacity of housing about 50 asylum seekers. Within the urban strategy for the entire municipality of Oslo there is a potential of housing 1400.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

THE URBAN CIRCUIT

Author: Camila Urrego

Site: St. Halvards gate (Gamlebyen)

©In Transit Studio

Text by author

INTRODUCTION

St. Halvard's Gate area is dominated by inaccessible railways and heavy infrastructures, such as roads and bridges. However, structures that had previously been used for industrial purposes have been transformed into spaces for skateboarding, playgrounds, and leisure spaces. The transformed areas are open to the public and they function as a gathering place for children and youth. The closest sports space is Klosterenga, which makes these new spaces significant for this area as it is separated by the infrastructure.

Understanding this, the project proposes to add value to these transformation areas without degrading the original qualities of the area. But instead, create a strategy that allows a connection between the intervention and the surrounding outdoor spaces in order to facilitate recreation and positive contact with nature, thus contributing to the health and well-being of the individual and the community.

STAKEHOLDERS

The stakeholders in this project are those preparing for and responding to a crisis. The main actors of contingency in Oslo are the Oslo Municipality, Health and Emergency Response, the Oslo Red Cross, the Civil Defence, and the NPA - Norwegian People's Aid. Therefore, the main goal is to align efforts with some of the many actors involved in crisis response at an earlier stage in order to meet all the possible challenges and anticipate future obstacles during the contingency plan execution.

THE RED CROSS

Among all the different institutions in Oslo, the Red Cross already plays a supporting role in St. Halvardsgate, both in its preventive health and social care work. Moreover, their voluntary contribution is intended to complement the work of local authorities, and provide disaster preparedness as well as to assist and supplement relevant public services in their own communities.

OPERATIONAL IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

As a disaster preparedness organization, the Red Cross wants to improve local disaster response by being in place before, during, and after crisis strikes. Creating a partnership with the Red Cross could result in a faster and more effective ‘first line’ of response when activating a contingency plan on site.

According to the Red Cross “In emergency situations, volunteers involved in different areas are ready to contribute (Social care activities, Barna youth, Rescue corps training)”. Therefore, by providing spaces for the Red Cross to extend their capacity and further continue their activities within those areas, we would ease the execution of a response system and facilitate that the initial effects of the crisis are countered, and the immediate needs of the affected communities are met.

In an emergency situation, some of the housing units will subdivide and receive more people per unit and the Auditorium will serve as information spaces and area for distributing emergency supplies.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

COMMUNITY

The intervention in this area can play an important role in brokering new relationships in the neighborhood and complementary action in the local community. There is an opportunity for creating a uniquely placed common ground that promotes social interactions between the RC volunteers, the community, and new residents.

PROGRAM

The proposal will seek to provide housing units as well as some spaces to the Red Cross to extend their capacity and further continue their outdoor programs related to Social care activities, Barna youth, and Rescue corps training.

In order to provide the rescue corps with adequate training spaces, strength training, and aerobic exercise concepts were included in the proposal. Thus, an extended workout circuit was designed with different stations for endurance training, resistance training and high-intensity aerobics. This proposal extends all the way to the pre-existent outdoor spaces in St. Halvard's gate in order to reconnect them and create a continuous public path.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

GAMLE OSLO CULTURAL CENTER

Author: Karen Stormoen Mykland

Site: St. Halvards gate (Gamlebyen)

©In Transit Studio

Text by author

The voluntary organization of the Red Cross plays a supporting role in the Norwegian welfare state, both in its preventive health and social care work and in emergency response. The Oslo Red Cross aims to ensure presence and participation of people in vulnerable life situations through creating safe, open and inclusive meeting places. Their focus is on children, senior citizens and adolescents, migrants and people with crime and drug problems. But how do the facilities that they have align with their mission - and how can they function efficiently for temporary use - both in the daily life and during times of crisis?

The project explores how we can use the role of a volunteer organization, focusing on the Oslo Red Cross, to create a better connection between community members and participants of volunteer programs. The Gamle Oslo Cultural Center will serve as a learning- and activity center for Red Cross participants and the local community.

The existing offers of the Oslo Red Cross often do not hold the possibility of making connections outside of the set activity-time and the existing facilities are often hidden and lacking an inviting architecture and connection to public space. In addition - the current situation of 2020 is making it more apparent that we need facilities that are easy to adapt to unforeseen situations- in particularl for vulnerable groups that are in need of these platforms, now more than ever. The Cultural Center offers a new kind of meeting place in the local community - where the program of the public library is extended into a set of activities provided by the Red Cross. They all aim to showcase the diversity, skills and cultures of the users of the building. Making people reconnect, not only to each other but also to themselves through discovering new passions and a feeling of mastery. By creating a platform where the participants of the Red Cross are seen as a resource in the local community it connects to fundamental needs of acting, belonging and committing.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

The Cultural Center consists of an L-shaped building, giving room for a public plaza in front of the building, and to the south - a lifted terrace, giving an extended public floor, as well as protecting against the noise railway. The first floor consists of a reception connected to a multi-use hall for exhibitions or small concerts. In addition, there are two cafes, including a work-training and meeting spot for youth and a woman's café along with a vegetable store. The main building follows the typology of the neighboring buildings of the site and holds a five floor structure that contains a variation of programs - aiming to suit the needs of the Red Cross and create a hub for creativity. This "hub" facilitates music activities - such as a sound studio, music room and a music library. It also includes programs of arts and craft through a multi-use workshop for sewing, painting and woodwork and group rooms. There is a common area connected to each department. The fourth floor holds programs for child activities and a dedicated play area for kids. The southernmost part of the building contains a public library - that can be connected to the workshops when it is needed. The upper floor terrace is available to the public from the library.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

Each floor connects thematically, but with a variation of programs. The allocation of the spaces can be rearranged to suit the current needs. The structure of the building also enables the program to easily be shifted if it is needed, so that the Red Cross can react most efficiently to the present.

Can we find a potential for a new type of public indoor program through integrating the mission of volunteer organizations with the issues of the local community? The composition of the building and the program allow for the use of the building to be shifted to suit the user and allow for various uses over time, and allow the user to participate and engage in the development of the center. Consequently, the Cultural Center can act as both "permanent" and "temporary" - making it dynamic, adaptable and resilient to the unforeseen challenges of the future.

A SCENERY ON THE BRIDGE

Author: Yukang Yang

Site: Schweigaards gate (Grønland)

©In Transit Studio

Text by author

A Scenery On The Bridge is a new resource center in Norway – a place facilitating for interaction between asylum seekers, job hunters and the local population of the Grønland area, a neighborhood in the central part of Oslo East, The project aims to activate new arrivals during and after the waiting period of having their asylum application processed, with the hopes of being granted protection in Norway.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

The Grønland area has a complex demography. About half of the Grønland residents are between 18-39 age. The area also has a large immigrant population. High unemployment, low income, and low education rate are some of the challenges in this area (Oslo Kommune).

The site chosen for A Scenery On The Bridge project is located in Schweigaardsgate 35, at a vacant plot between Intility AS office building and a residential building, next to the train tracks leading to the Oslo S – the Central Train Station. This location was chosen because of the proximity to the Police Station, it is close to the main transportation hubs of Oslo, but also because Grønland has a rich international social network. According to many migration scholars and experts, arriving in neighborhoods with high numbers of immigrants can help asylum seekers find a sense of belonging. The inclusion of refugees in the immigrant neighborhood is a secure and productive site of settlement.

Central in A Scenery On The Bridge project – in addition to providing short-term + long-term accommodation, and medical help for asylum seekers, is the Career Center. Starting immediately with exploring the job market upon arrival, helps the new arrivals integrate into the local community and realize their own value – but also which (new) skills that they may have to acquire to qualify for the local job market. The Career Center also serves the local community and as a mean to alleviate the problem of high unemployment. The center is thought to be a branch of NAV –The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, the current Norwegian public welfare agency, which consists of the state Labour and Welfare Service as well as municipal welfare agencies. A Scenery On The Bridge project is a physical meeting place, where the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) and NAV can join forces and provide a variety of employment services, such as language courses, office software courses, employment seminars, and job fairs. Important for this kind of place with strong national institutions, is to also provide low-threshold facilities that will draw in the neighborhood residents, even if it is only to use the coffee shop. At the same time, it is important that many of the users or residents of this building are in a vulnerable situation, and the three separate volumes with various degrees of privacy and openness is reflected in the architecture.

©In Transit Studio

THE COMMUNITY OF THOSE WHO HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON

Author: Lina Dovydenaite

Site: Myraløkka

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

Text by author

The scheme proposes a hybrid typology of a community centre, production spaces and mental well-being centre that embeds the ideas of mental health prevention within the community fabric. The project will focus on activating and strengthening the local community.

The project aims to facilitate positive, safe, natural interactions amongst people and foster a sense of community and belonging. Helping multicultural communities build cohesion and mutual understanding. As well as being primary place during contingency, providing a welcoming community to be part of as well as enable interactions between displaced people and the local host community to come together to learn from each other throughinformal encounters and non-formal education. Also providing livelihood opportunityfor long-term displaced people to become more self-reliant. And mental health support, provided as non-medical support, in the form of creative workshops and self-care/self-love activity.

This project is a complement to the existing mental health service, community houses and refugee reception centres infrastructure. Similar collective centre is proposed to take place in each district based on the boundaries of administrative districts, population densities and travel time ratio. Forming city-wide network of collective mental well-being centers.

The project also address the lack of interaction between refugees and national ethos of the new land. Living and waiting on the periphery where your language teacher is sometimes the only connection to the new society. For refugees entering a new society, the interpretation of that ethos is essential to making sense of their new lives and re-constructing their identity. The project address the suffering through the collective trauma of the pandemic. Suggesting typology which would facilitate for healing process, self and collective care.

LINK TO VIDEO

BRISKEBY BRANNSTASJON - EXPLORING CO-EXISTENCE BETWEEN EMERGENCY SERVICES AND THE EVERYDAY

Author: Tord Mardoff Nielsen

Site: Briskeby

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

Text by author

Exploring the fire station at Briskeby - I found the social dynamic in the everyday there quite intriguing. Due to the nature of the fire and rescue services’ shift system, the station functions both as a place to work, and as a place to live. This dynamic manifests both socially and in various ways through the physical architecture. Spaces for hobbies, pass-times, exercise and study merge with an always operative emergency response system. With this in mind, the aim of the project is to push this further. To an architecture that blends public realm and the emergency services. Creating transparency and openness without compromising contingency functions or privacy. Focusing on this, the project seeks to place emphasis on the spaces that over-lap between the fire brigade and the general public. Which in the case of Briskeby would mean re-instating the movie theatre a-top the fire station and repurposing the unused subterranean structures as a purpose-built gym, as well as developing a new build extension that allows for office spaces and shared co-working. All orbiting around a new public square - celebrating architecture driven from contingency planning. The further aim is that these of buildings should be designed in such a way that in the event of an emergency, the co-working space and the public areas can function as a purpose-built collective centre along side the fire station serving as a coordination hub and central location for other emergency services in the centre of Oslo.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

KEYSERLØKKA FOOD LOOP - A SOCIAL FOOD SECURITY STRATEGY FOR OSLO

Authors: Tu Uyen Phan-Nguyen & Helle Brænd Rabbås

Site: Keyserløkka

©In Transit Studio

Text by authors

What will the next crisis be? How can we be better prepared?

On 12 March, a national lockdown was announced by the Norwegian government as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As a consequence, many Norwegians started hoarding food and goods, causing temporary shortages of everyday household products in grocery stores – despite being told by national authorities and the food industry that Norway’s food supply was not under threat. But in the event of a different type of crisis, for how long would Norway’s food supply last, and how many could it feed? Is there alack of information on a topic that concerns us all?

Numbers from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), shows that Norway is one of the countries in the world with the lowest self-sufficiency rate. According to the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)the self-sufficiency rate of Norway was down to 45% in 2019. Excluding the export of fish and import of animal feed, we are currently at 36%. Since 1979 the production of vegetables in Norway has been reduced by almost 50% (NIBIO). This shows that Norway is becoming more and more dependent on importing food. At the same time there is a trend of fewer and larger food storages, which increases the distance from production to storage, and from storage to consumer. These factors make food security in Norway vulnerable and dependent on well-functioning – and in crises – uninterrupted infrastructure.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

The Keyserløkka Food Loop project proposes a preparedness strategy to prevent and respond to potential food shortages in the event of a major disaster in Oslo. The strategy is based on a decentralized model with local hubs for production, storage, and distribution, and is meant to contribute to the discussion of whether the Oslo Municipality’s contingency plans have adequately included food security in their plans, and how this fits into the everyday life of the inhabitants of Oslo. The Keyserløkka Food Loop project further explores whether the architecture of food security can become a subject of public knowledge and contribute to increased knowledge about sustainable food production, consumption, and waste reduction. The project illustrates the potential of better integrating overall city emergency planning with the social infrastructure in local communities by choosing the Keyseløkka neighborhood in the district of Grünerløkka as a case. The rich history of food production and self-sufficiency, and the current site conditions of Keyserløkka – which could be described as a village within the city – has informed and influenced the architecture and urban design of the project. Central in the architectural output of the Keyserløkka Food Loop project is the celebration of Storage as a typology and our fascination for production architecture. The system – or loop of buildings –corresponds with the cycle of food production, cultivation, storage, food preparations and consumption, and waste handling. The design is also based on the need to stay safe and have access to food in a crisis.

The project started with the premise of – as a minimum –provide food for 500 persons for 10 days. The number of 500 people is based on the Oslo Municipality’s contingency plans, where every city district is responsible for the safety and well-being of their inhabitants. Oslo city officialsestimate that 2% of the population will need help in a crisis. In the Grünerløkka district, this equals 1500 people. As such, the Keyserløkka Food Loop project would be able to provide for one third of this group.Our project therefore proposes a decentralized model, to both ensure food and accommodation in a crisis, and at the same time utilize the community centers for every city district. The Norwegian government recommends 6 days coverage, we wished to see if we could push it and make it 10. With this as a point of departure, and the ambition of creating a place that would also become an everyday asset for the neighborhood, the project consists of two parts:

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio

The Base consists of an array of storages, public program and production. The program is arranged in a cycle starting from collecting vegetables, moving through the different phases of preparation, storing, composting, collecting seeds and production. Towards a railway on site there is a logistic strip, allowing for effective movement of food to and from the storages placed in relation to the strip. The public programs are facing an internal courtyard and marked place. At the center of the loop the water tower is placed as the source of life.

©In Transit Studio

The Satellites are inventions around Keyserløkka based on findings and potentials around the site, such as south-facing end-walls with few windows, larger asphalt spots, underdeveloped paths and underused green space. Keyserløkka was built in the 50s with apartment blocks spread, making spacious areas between. Our satellites want to enforce the community feeling at Keyserløkka by making public spaces and connecting them to urban farming, utilizing underused space.

©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio
©In Transit Studio