LPO has transformed the old industrial site of Vulkan an attractive high-density area in the inner city of Oslo. Central to the redevelopment scheme are the historic buildings, which now accommodate a dance Scene, offices (Bellona Building), housing projects and a food court in Mathallen.
The main concept of the Master Plan was to open the area to its surroundings. In the heart of the proposal was creation of a new east-west connection by making a “cut” in one of the industrial buildings along the Akerselva river. By demolishing a small part of one of the historic buildings, a new connection between to separated urban areas was established, and the river became an integrated part of the urban space. Further, the unique structure in the old building was highlighted in the section made visible through the “cut” and gave the Vulkan are a central point.
Mathallen’s design follow other examples of South European food halls. The space houses bars, cafés, restaurants, several shops for local produce, and speciality food stores. The reuse of the industrial building connected new functions of the history of the area, giving it an example of a heritage building adaptation, where public and private interests converge toward the conservation of cultural value and the enhancement of economic value.
The Bellona House is the new headquarters of the Bellona Group. Being a non-governmental organization addressing environmental issues, they set high standards for the project. The building contains mainly offices, with shops and restaurants on the ground level. The building is situated on the site where the “cut” was made., making it a part of the new public space and in direct interaction with the historic building structure and new façade. The plan of the Bellona House is a result of the conditions on the site – it is reusing older foundations and the office plan is compact and flexible. The façade is constructed in wood and is optimized for sun collection and views to the exterior. As a response to the old brick building, it seeks a formal dialogue with the triangular shapes of the historic building, and using glass, it reflects the two opposite facades, activating the new urban space between them.
The redefined Vulkan area is a model project in terms of developing processes, not only with different authorities, but also with different professionals, made possible within a commercial project framework. The transformation project activate, connects and engage the urban spaces where people are free to visit and use throughout the year.