Eriksen Skajaa Architects reconnects disengaged areas of modest settlement
Strusshamn is a settlement on the southwest side of Askøy, an island outside of Bergen on the west coast of Norway, with strong ties to the ocean. The fjord was used for transport due to lack of roads and it was an important economic resource. When this changed and the car became the most important way of communication two centres developed without a clear connection to each other.
The site in Strusshamn is a former boat building factory for Viksund Boats that was bought by the municipality to make a new zoning plan to avoid heavy industry to be established in the future in the old, preserved harbour environment. In this study Eriksen Skajaa Architects (ESA) is looking for a way to connect the two parts of Strusshamn.
Strusshamn has a lot of different public services and mainly small-scale cultural activity. ESA believe that a combination of culture production and maritime culture can give Strusshamn the uniqueness that is needed to turn the place into an attractive place to live and an interesting destination. The firm has introduced small culture ‘boathouses’ that will supplement the housing as artist’s studios and small shops. They will provide public life and reintroduce small-scale commerce to this once lively harbour area.
The layout is based on analysis of climate and landscape with an aim to create good public spaces and buildings with access to light and the spectacular view the landscape offers. A continuous public space with piers, public spaces, a promenade and backyards attach the new development to the rest of Strusshamn. A central canal on the site connects the two parts of the site together and increases the quality of both and this way not only the houses on the waterfront have access to the qualities of the harbour environment. Towards the fjord to the south lies a large public space for the whole of Strusshamn.