Story 1. Perception
First, mid-winter, as a guest of Tromsø, we experienced the shifting landscape of the north. An omnipresent black shadow formed a mysterious backdrop, east. Returning in summer, the wall had been moved, replaced by other perceptions, other depths, shifting layers, as one changes the aperture on a reflex camera. In Tromsø, the time space relationships are in a constant state of flux, managed by light.
Story 2. Perception
While many cities struggle to achieve 'Terminal Nirvana' - the climax of reaching the edge - Tromsø has the unique condition of having no hinterland, only 'fore-land'. Surrounded by sea, and islands, and horizons, and sea again, Tromsø. Physical connections, shifting perceptions, dispose of any traditional notion of edge, a spatiality where water, view, sky, light, land form changing truths.
Story 1. Public Space
5 people cross the street, meet in the middle, stop, and exchange. Traffic passes. One of the women has a baby in her arms. Traffic passes. The women is breastfeeding. In Tromso, the public space is continually 'updated' by the inhabitants. In two months a street may no longer be a street, it may become a 'white' field, a space on an island in a field of some of the most beautiful landscape in the world. A landscape that resists objectification.
Approach Urban: 'Atomizing'
Resisting the hermetic tendency of terminal as infrastructural machines, we propose a new kind of terminal, where the determinacy of inside and out, private and public, controlled and free are liberated in an adaptive architecture.
Our proposal begins on the scale of the Tromsø region, a reading of perceived, experienced, lived space, a translation of public space, and with this the invention of terminal on Prostneset. The result is an atomized architecture. Hyper specific, coded conditions operating on the scale of buildings, Prostneset, and city.
We propose a new landfill that wraps the existing coastline, establishing the clearest relationships between infrastructures; maximizing the contact between city and terminal. To the city we propose a radical transformation of Amundsen's square, giving both the statue and the park a greater significance for Tromsø. The square has been redefined to include the Kirkegata 2 building and will also expand the prominence and potentials for the
adjacent NNKS museum. Traffic is rerouted and the 'square' is given a clear definition that it has never had, with the conference center establishing its southeastern edge. Amundsen has been elevated to give him a greater prominence for the whole area, and creating 'virtual' corridors in the context. A major public promenade is established: Strandtorget - Kaigata - Melange Hotel Gardens - Amundsen's square, Conference terrace, and S. Arnesens gate.
The project is conceived as 3 + 3 terminals. Three facilitate optimal motion [transposition] - three ideal terminals for speedboat, Hurtigruta, and bus. Each terminal with its own unique identity, character, and interface with one another and the city. The position of these 3 entities, and the infrastructure that supports them, the dedicated movements, primary and secondary relationships, form a dynamic layered organization system. The second three relate to the mind and body [transfer] - conference, hotel, and spa. These functions have suffered under their own residual self-image, mere shadows of their former greatness. Our design gives them each their freedom back and with that their public licenses. These '6' terminals create a multiplicity of urban events that are activated and refreshed in time
To enter the city - directly. To flow from the boat to the terrace in summer. To have references, and to have references that change. An architecture without obligations. The traditional terminal, 'a point of connection', where voyeurism of travel meets urbanity, is confronted with its many obligations, its ever-expanding logics, and its own prescriptiveness in a hopeless attempt to achieve optimal efficiency. Moreover, the terminal wrestles with its size, defined by 'peaks' stretching its envelope for the 'max' and incurring formal gymnastics
to make these momentary swells possible. To charge the project with spaces and programs for the non-peaks - to bring the city to the terminal and the 'guests' to the city - a redefinition of the terminal, the Atomized terminal. In this notion, exceptionally different architectures are envisioned, giving the terminal an urban complexity that operates on the scale of the city - Tromsø. The ground of the city lifts from Amundsen's Square and connects to the top terminal level. This move brings the cars, sidewalks, pedestrians, parks, and plazas, terraces, kids, and skaters - the city - to the terminal. By extending the two existing roads as a drive- through and drop off for the Hurtigruta terminal and conference, a prominent public space and entries are defined where they meet.
The tired modernist tendency of constructed views, and its objectification of nature as a static image framed by objects are not possible in a city like Tromsø (with more views per person than perhaps any other city in the world). Synthetic flow diagrams connect the dot strategies generating 'free' form don't do justice to magnetism, free will, overlapping contextual fields.
'Centrifugal Mies' - A strategy of onionskins, the interface between terminal and city - expanding and contracting landscapes - layers of urban tissue. Changes in season, time of day, weather, and light are reflected in the space as defined by the users, the openings, the movement, the organization of spaces. The result is a project not designed as perspective but creating perspectives, infinite perspectives.
This architecture is catalyzed by a highly specific structural mesh - a reinterpretation of the waffle slab - where structural efficiency of a 'regular two directional system is translated to a spatial organization of the Interstitial-Terminal. Vertical structure is virtually eliminated, and the typical slab that tensions the former grid is replaced by strategically placed steel plates, freeing the entire remaining roof surface for glass and translucent insulation composites. This mesh wraps the southeast façade of the building: ARRIVAL. The height of the space, the depth of the construction, the viewpoint of the visitors, the structural exceptions, and the mix of translucent and transparent surfaces in the roof create a quality where no two views through the mesh are ever the same. The roof is a filter for light and climate, illuminating the winter sky as the city's interior meeting space, bringing the summer beauty to the first step from the boat.