Space Group Reinvents a Major Transit Hub in Oslo
The young firm Space Group recently won an invited competition to redesign the Oslo Central Station in Bjørvika, a quickly redeveloping waterfront district in Norway’s capital city.
Developer ROM Eiendom’s June announcement of the competition results comes on the heels of the April opening of Snøhetta’s New Oslo Opera House, located nearby. The station redesign is expected to advance the progress of new transportation infrastructure in the district and definitively establish the centrality of the station in the city plan.
Intended to be one the most modern public transportation hubs in Europe, the $160 million, 861,000-square-foot glass and steel building will contain station facilities and a hotel, along with shops, restaurants, offices, and event space—all of which will connect to a new central axis. The firm’s scheme eliminates the station’s eastern orientation; a “recognizable announcement of entrances from the north, south, and west” will strengthen the building’s presence in the cityscape, explains partner-in-charge Gro Bonesmo. Rather than just serving as a shopping mall, the building will be a “celebration of travel,” with a layout that embodies clarity and efficiency. “Our ambition,” says Bonesmo, “is to make the station itself a pure experience.”
The design alludes to a tree-lined boulevard, a quality that is reflected in the station’s new name, “Stasjons Alleen,” or Station Boulevard. A sectional transition to surrounding streets and plazas will allow the building to connect naturally to the daily flows of the city. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013 and be completed in five to 10 years.
The firm produced its winning scheme in collaboration with Schønherr Landscape and Atkins. It beat out the following teams of designers: Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter, Arup & Partners, and The Design Solution; DSB Arkitekter, COBE, and Cowi; and Jensen & Skodvin, Carl Wiggo Hølmebakk, Arne Henriksen, Aas Jacobsen, and Linstow AS.