Aker Brygge has been a leading business and commercial center in Oslo for almost 25 years. The typology is unique not only on a national level, but even internationally Aker Brygge is renowned as a preeminent example among waterfront commercial developments. A generator for the transformation of the Oslo West waterfront, Aker Brygge is now flanked by the new Tjuvholmen development, and awaits a major cultural injection on Vestbanen. Filipstad stands next in line, poised to profit from the new waterfront expansion, and specifically tapping into the CBD quality of Aker Brygge.
Meeting the future for Aker Brygge requires a step-change:
- a reinterpretation of its commercial position in a changing market
- a new reading of the 'served' context
- strengthening its foothold as the Central Business District of Oslo
- a spatial organization that reflects a new, more urban condition
- architectural strategies that keep Aker Brygge on the 'cutting edge'
ALL ROADS LEAD TO AKER BRYGGE
From Rådhusplassen to Nationaltheatret, Tjuvholmen, to Skillebekk, to Oslo fjord - all roads lead to Aker Brygge. Understanding the immediate context provides the impetus for a new reading of Aker Brygge, no longer a quarter on the edge but a center. This reading we have translated into Aker Brygge Star. The star eliminates the dichotomy of inside out, haves and have not's, front and back. Every part is vital and contributes to the whole identity of Aker Brygge.
Our 'compact' strategy for Aker Brygge, predicted by the current inefficiency of multi-layered commercial space, and the incongruities of the ground floor, clarifies the urban layer - a tabula rasa - commercially and urbanely. This provides two unique opportunities: first, a 'clean-cut' trajectory through a densified shopping street, and secondly 'corporate' lobbies for the offices (everyone with an address).
While maintaining the physical constraints of the basic building structures and servicing, a new layer is superimposed, more logical, more precise, and more deliberate. The urban carpet is articulated through patios, gardens, courtyards, and covered streets.
Between the existing blocks, the side streets of Aker Brygge (Bryggegate, Grundingen, Riggergate), become prime, new business fronts.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
The Aker Brygge Star consists of 5 directions:
1. The Urban forest (Holmen gate) - a protected street with shops, offices, local services - strengthens the continuity of the present context, from center to the newly developing areas.
2. Bryggetorget (square) becomes the intersection between Aker Brygge, Tjuvholmen and Filipstad, defining itself with a strong identity, designed to hold events and daily activities.
3. The new 'pier' (Fjordalléen) - as leisurely as it gets - introduces a new closeness to the water, reinforcing the experience of Oslo as the 'Fjord City'.
4. Clean-cut restructures the public flow and revitalizes the shopping culture, transversing corporate lobbies, vertical light shafts, and outdoor patios.
5. North gate (Sjøgata) - reopening the bridge on Munkedamsveien liberates a connection to the a large population stimulating Aker Brygge's north front.
Upon the convergence of these 5 conditions, each unique in program and spatial articulation, a new public space is created - a destination in itself, repositioning the center of gravity of Aker Brygge.
Aker Brygge's future will be defined by transparency, congruency, synergy, openness, and connectivity - AB 2.0.