27 March 2013
Temporal Urban Square for Oslo
Haptic have won the competition to create a new urban square outside the ROM Gallery in downtown Oslo. In connection with the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, architects, artists and designers were invited to give a concrete or subtle commentary on the relationship of art and architecture to the nation and its political systems. Haptic’s proposal is one of four that will be delivered on a rolling programme, similar to the concept of the 4th plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.
The site’s urban position acts as an intersection between three adjoining districts - City centre, Grünerløkka and St.Hanshaugen, and as a portal between the eastern and western parts of the city with all the historical, social and political significance this brings.
Haptic’s proposal is for a Speaker’s Corner. By taking advantage of the sites natural slope, an amphitheater is to be formed; a venue for talks, dialogue and debate. It is also a space for relaxation; to be quiet, make out, cry, read, rest, eat lunch, sun bathe. Skateboarding, parkour, break dancing and Bhangra are also allowed!
The temporal nature of the project required cost effective solutions. A simple construction of OSB and framework assimilates the street's aesthetics, drawing inspiration from skateboard ramps, barricades, construction sites and other temporary structures.