Straume, in the municipality of Fjell, is located on the west coast of Norway, near Bergen. The competition, commissioned by Sartor Holding required innovative and flexible solutions for three urban blocks and a public square to cater for a variety of events. The buildings include a 13-storey tower; a new landmark for the region.
Under the heading, from Shopping Centre to City, the competition aim is to assist in changing the image of Straume and to create a new city centre, with streets, squares and frontages, as opposed to the traditional shopping centre model.
The scheme is organised around the public square, conceived as a seamless surface that negotiates a substantial level change and incorporates planting, seating and lighting but primarily allows for flexibility in its use. The landscape and its geometry inform the architecture and bleeds into building common areas, creating semi-public spaces. The large square links to smaller routes and main shopping avenues. The landscape design places emphasis on intuitive movement across the square and around the active frontages.
The building forms are designed to maximise sunlight penetration into the square and residential courtyards, whilst eliminating problematic wind conditions. The architecture employs a simple palette of materials, taking inspiration from the stunning natural surroundings, its surface qualities and typology