Urban – Museum – Reuse
Client: SKMU, Kanalbyen Eiendom AS
Status: Design – Competition entry
Location: Kristiansand, NOR
With: Guillaume Guerrier
At the urban level, the project proposes to imagine Silokaia as a decompression space both for the new densification of Kanalbyen and for the whole city of Kristiansand.
As a matter of fact the public spaces of Kanalbyen, being enclosed by apartment buildings, have a rather introspective and intimate configuration. Another feature of the urban scape lies in its linear articulation on the seafront and on the new canal.
The structuring of a cultural district in Silokaia gives the opportunity to provide the city with a lively infrastructure: a plaza facing south, stage for urbanity, representation and appropriation that establishes a link between Kvadraturen and Kanalbyen.
The buildings defining the plaza respect the general features of the current masterplan, although providing an open space towards the canal where the plaza is conceived as a smooth topography that establishes a relation with the slope of Odderoya, having the possibility of being partly green. This gentle carpet enters the ground-floor of the museum and of the cultural school, while providing an interesting public space able to host a variety of scenarios. The cultural production of this era takes place in informal locations. The plaza, together with the program of the groundfloors, wants to offer this kind of atmosphere: ready to be explored, experienced and appropriated.
In order to keep a wide open space, well calibrated according to the surroundings, and to conceive the SKMU-NT museum as an autonomous building, it has been condensed mostly within the Silo, trying to exploit all of its potential.
The whole Silo complex (first 1935 body and 1939, 1953 extensions) has been considered as an important landmark, both in space and time, for the city and for its recent history. Hence all the volumes (but the 1985 extension) are kept and let readable in the reuse. This building, whose core has always been inaccessible to people, has been regarded predominantly as a shell. This is why most of its interior has been rethought remorselessly in order to provide the museum with qualitative spaces, while taking the opportunity to show through a few gestures the articulation of the cylindrical innards of this beautiful monster.
In addition to the Silo complex, the museum extends in two new volumes.The first one is a plate partly wrapping the existing building. This volume, meant to host the NT permanent collection, horizontally cuts the tall silo. This gesture has a further climatic implication: it cuts the wind acceleration on the vertical surface, reducing vortexes. The plate overhangs towards the sea creating a covered area where one of the two entrances of the museum is located. This roof then guides the passer-by along the canal. Towards the plaza the plate covers two wings (museum shop and NT temporary) and the second entrance of the museum. The two entrances of the museum are meant to catch the opportunity of thinking the ground-floor of the museum as a connective publicized element between the plaza and the seafront.The second extension is conceived as a rectangular slab positioned on top of the 30 cylinders of the silo. This addition in height declares the will of densifying within the limits of the existing building, while creating a recognizable landmark visible both from the land and from the sea. This box contains part of the SKMU temporary exhibition spaces and, at the top level, a panoramic restaurant, function that would successfully complete the program of the building.
The inner spaces of the museum offer a variety of configurations in terms of form and height, meant to be flexible and organized with ad hoc exhibition set-ups. Furthermore, thanks to the identification of two vertical distributing systems – one for visitors and one for logistics – the location of the different exhibition areas can be easily reassessed.
ART SCHOOL AND OTHER INTERVENTIONS
The school has been conceived as an extruded rectangle positioned in the upper part of the topography of the plaza. Its ground-floor constitutes an inner extension of the plaza meant to provide a lively publicized interior open space where a small shop and a café activate the space. From there an extended distribution system unrolls as a ribbon climbing the entire school. This route is conceived as a space for informal activities passing though the spaces of the school divided in subjects in order to stimulate curiosity, contamination between arts and creativity.
Two more buildings have been introduced in the masterplan: the 600sqm storage for Kilden north of the parking building and a 100 rooms hotel with a few retail portions at the ground-floor that defines the Silo plaza towards the hill.
Furthermore two light framework totems are positioned in the masterplan. One stands on a vertex of the plaza in order to provide on top an infrastructure for posters, lighting/audio systems and at the ground-floor either a kiosk or storage for materials (chairs, deckchairs, pillows, AV supports) to activate the square. The other one lies in front of Camilla Colletts Plass, providing public stairs and lift to easily reach the altitude of area O11 where Vest-Agder Museum will be built.