Bodø, Norway 2008
Architect: Touraine Richmond Architects
Client: City of Bodo, Norway
Cost: $110 Million
Program: 6,000SM Library/Cultural Center + Urban Design
Bodo is a city in between: ocean and land, salt and fresh waters. Into the miasma of land eroding into sea and water oxidizing soil and stone, a cultural landscape emerges. Both natural and human-made edges create a unique and specific coastal situation at Bodo: a transfer to the Lofoten islands, a transference between water and land. Flora and fauna exist humbly through the gradual accretion and accumulation of nutrients, sunlight, diurnal shifts and the beauty of life in a difficult context. Our proposal does not include a conventional “landmark” but rather a form of accumulation at the city’s marine edge, which activates and magnetizes the flow of people and events along the waterfront. In order to avoid a division of the program into 2 sites, we group the library and performance auditoriums in an optimal and complementary way, each is easily accessible to local residents. The sloping museum is an image of Bodo readily understood by an outsider. The library and concert hall are local amenities that eventually can be enjoyed by visitors, but perhaps not as a priority to generate a visit. The 2 poles create a magnetic effect that pulls people back and forth along an exclusively pedestrian path consisting of a carpet of moss. The cultural complex itself becomes a subtle beacon both from the ocean and from the cityscape. In both situations it is an ambiguous thing, part mineral, part animal, part water, part land, part object, part ambiance. The project roof and access provide an experiential link between the natural landscape and the urban path. The exceptional location north of the arctic circle provides distinct and unusual opportunities. The facility will be either under- or over-exposed to the sun most of the year. What is a public life when there are 3 hours of natural light and what is it when it becomes 21 hours?