June 8, 2023

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Mad wants to build a depression on the prison grounds

Low new buildings

In the plans, the existing prison wall was opened with several arches. This creates walkways so that people can move around the area more easily, between city districts and increases accessibility to the soon-to-be-renovated Klosterenga Park on the adjacent plot.

– It is important that we open our doors so that people can pass through the area. We see Asplan Viak thinks the same in its most recent planning initiative, but then a passage between two walls. Instead, we want to punch the wall with holes and create new urban areas. Here we imagine new buildings of a slightly different scale than we are used to building in central Norwegian cities today.

– To Aftenposten it says that “whatever is new should not be twice the size of the old”. What do you put in it?

– The main rule today is a high degree of utilization when demolishing and new construction in the city. There is a lot of sense in this, but here we have a slightly different situation, since we do not have the owner of a private plot of land. Then we think it might make more sense to raise the target a little bit rather than give something back to the neighborhood and the city.

Singstad and Mad believe that it is not certain that the city needs to develop this area with as many homes and offices as possible.

– Instead, we envision a new urban landscape neatly nested, with buildings on a smaller scale that would like to show some historical scale and the way people built in this area. For us, it is currently more about urban development than architecture, but also about transforming something large and a bit inhospitable, as it is today, into something attractive and interesting, he says.

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– part of the mission

– This project comes as a voluntary initiative from you in MAD. Why?

Our goal is to show social commitment. We don’t always achieve it with our projects, but sometimes we take the time to extract some insights and ideas. We have done this previously at Ring 1, Tullinkvartalet and Filipstadkaia in Oslo and now in Oslo Prison.

Is this part of the engineer’s role?

– For us, this is part of the social mission as architects. I’m not saying all architects should do this, but we encourage all of our employees to come up with ideas and input. If we have the resources to do so, we’d be happy to take the time to sort it out and spark some discussion.

Statsbygg tells Arkitektur it’s still very early in the process about the prison site. The order to start the meeting was sent on March 31.