ÅS is more
11 / 06 / 2013
Ås is on the verge of a huge task. In the coming years to 2040 is forecast that the population will double. Doubling the population could endanger the qualities and characteristics of the village or even completely abolish them. On the other hand, when the development will be managed responsibly and supported by a clear vision; in planning, urbanism and architecture, the possibilities are there to strengthen the positive characteristics of Ås and tackle the existing shortcomings structurally. This will allow the village to position itself clearly, which will not only benefit the new inhabitants of Ås but will mean a great improvement for the entire village.
Our main starting point in this project is to maintain and strengthen the cohesion between the village and the university, and between current and future residents. Our view is that the solution should not only be sought in building houses to accommodate growth, but specifically the public space –where people can meet- is an important task in this competition. To meet future growth, it is essential that the center of the village will be better defined and that both spatial and programmatic a well articulated public area will be realized here.
The buildings that we propose can take many different forms. From small detached houses to dense clusters where shops, workplaces and apartments are included. In terms of design and materializations they remain always in close relationship with the small-scale character of Ås. Because the dwellings can be developed both stand-alone as in (big or small) clusters, growth can also take place in stages.
The modest and archetypal design refers to traditional Norwegian homes without being historicizing. The floor plans and facades are designed in a way that they basically can adopt every type of housing. Within the same blueprint in which shafts and openings are fixed, various typologies are possible. Without major structural changes various forms of living and working can be adapted. From single family-houses to student dwellings and from elderly housing to studio’s. Every house is provided with a private balcony or terrace. When houses are clustered they also have a shared outdoor space with direct neighbors on the first floor. In this case ground level is for parking and remains public. By not providing private gardens on the ground floor it is possible to make very compact, but still spacious set-ups.