What can you expect of Oslo? In daily life you mean? To cover needs and deeds. And in the future? Everything. But the future of Oslo will be different, life and work are going to be placed where things matter – near the sea, the shore, the fjord. The future has a name: B J Ø R V I K A, the old-new suburb at the waterfront of Oslo – the entrance into its new identity. We pause for a while and detach the name into pieces. Still far from completion but an unpolished synopsis reveals the following.
B as in business district: Buildings for buiz are shaped differently by any means. Corporate identities for identified cities and no lame excuse and no escape. Economy is needed and its very representation. But it is going to be difficult to change the identity of a city once you settle with one, because business districts attract business lovers. And the love for capital requires the full attention of corporates and their identities. We pause and take a look around what is there in 2014. Obviously the Barcode-buildings: twelve medium-rise asymmetrical shaped buildings, up to 22 stories tall and layed out between the central station and the shore. A feast for the eye. Structures are breaking apart, fine finesse inside out, glass meets marple, facades are a mashup from various styles to be found in modern cities all over the world but contain still something different – something Nordic by nature and very likable. I truly enjoy the variation of these buildings. Finally something different and mesmerizing in architecture. Well, B as in big and too big to fail. I reckon this goes well within the needs and deeds for Oslo.
J as in joy: Of course the B fuses possibilities to host apartments for living and joy. Living in the same hood as corporates. Challenging it can be. But the real joy is the given view to the sea from the terraces of the apartments. Can you afford it? Maybe not. Does it matter? No.
Ø as in øl (beer): B and J are going well along with that. Remove the slash from the letter and you will find the (O)pera around, this stunning asymmetrical shaped iceberg serving as Oslo’s melting point for fine art.
R as in rich: Heated debates started while the transformation took place. Big money to build and maintain requires people with big pockets, to work, to live and to be tourist – to come and see, stay, wonder and pay. Certainly the R is crucial in whether this suburb is going to be integrated or rather separated from the rest of the city. The latter is turning it into something asymmetrical again, the even richer part of the already rich Oslo. But people will decide.
V as in victory: To have started to reshape the face of Oslo? Most definitely. Change is always good when change is needed.
I as in identify: Wait and see and identify comes along – asymmetrical, symmetrical, business, joy and pleasure, rich and richer, anything…
K as in Kaleidoscope: Colorful and plentiful and easy to use for everybody. Rich and poor, locals and tourists. Hopefully the future of the entrance from the sea.
A as in asymmetrical: The Barcode-buildings so far 🙂