Kongshavnfjordpark — A centre for marine knowledge

The project proposes to create kongshavnfjordpark, a marine knowledge centre. The starting point is the proximity to the fjord, the missing alna river delta, and the underlying geology. From this the a naturum for the city emerges and to build a place that is grounded in its context and will increase knowledge and culture around the new blue marka and its ecosystem. Naturum is a swedish concept of establishing a gateway to nature worth visiting, with the aim of spreading knowledge and inspiring visitors to go out and explore nature on their own. Kongshavnfjordpark can be the first naturum in norway and a starting point or mothership for further establishment of naturum throughout the country.

Kongshavnfjordpark — A centre for marine knowledge
Client: Hav Eiendom, Oslo Havn
Status: Delivered
Size: 68 382m2
Location: Oslo, Norway
Type: Parallel Assignment, Waterfront, River, Urbanism, Park
Collaborators: AART Architects Consultants: Morten Bergan—Geologist and Ornithologist, Hydrateam, TØI, NIVA

Fjordhuset is open to everyone, to investigate, learn and read, gain knowledge and experience about life in the Oslo Fjord and the nature right outside the door, but also just to hang out. The house will function as a learning arena where you can explore, exhibit and develop. A house with a low threshold where everyone is welcome, with teaching, the workshop, laboratories, auditorium and artist or office community. Through the harbour promenade and the connection out to the islands, experiences connected to the Oslo Fjord, and life above and below water, are explored.

Kongshavnfjordpark will eventually be able to create a culture that can increase knowledge about the fjord as an ecosystem, and in that way contribute to the preservation and improvement of the fjord's health. In the same way that Oslomarka (A protected forest bordering the city of Oslo) has strong protection, both politically and among the population, we want the same for the Oslofjord - the blue marka. The concept of a nature room comes from the Swedish "Naturrum", a gateway to nature experiences and understanding of the landscape you are in, with the aim of knowledge sharing and increased motivation to go out and explore nature also on your own. Kongshavnfjordpark could become Norway's first natural space, and a starting point for establishing natural spaces in many different ecosystems in the rest of the country.

Landscape strategy:

Circular Landscape:

Kongshavnfjordpark will use the surrounding resources to produce a park that uses circular principles to bolster ecologies and economies of scale during the future development of Grønlikaia. The landscape used the existing condition as a starting point and gives shape to it through the practice of cut and fill. All excavated materials (that are non-polluted) will be used to create the topography within the park. The new river channel will provide more to create the Kongshavn dyke which will work in three ways; 1 the Kongshavn dyke will re-direct the river water towards the park area therefore create a new fantastic and biodiverse river delta within the park, 2 the currents from the river will therefore make it easier to manouver in Kongshavn, and 3 sedimentation will not occur in Kongshavn there for reduce the need to dredge from the sea floor and in turn create a better habitat for life under the water. Kongshavn will have to be dredged when it is created, this material can be used in the new river bed and along the islands to keep the excavated material flows very local. In addition to this the former river delta of Alna is located underneath the new development of Verket, in principle the first layer is most likely polluted however below this there can be valuable highly fertile sedimentary deposit that can be up-cycled to the new river delta at Kongshavn.

The site is located at a geologically interesting hotspot. The question is how to make this visible and contextual to create identity within the landscape. The site has 3 main geological features; skifer og knollekalk i lagvis veksling, kalkrik sandstein, and granittisk gneis. The islands have been divided according to the geological faults, as has the floor of the public space along the havnepromenade. Thinking circularly the suggestion is to up-cycle the kalkstein and skiferstein that is being excavated from the digging of the new Fornebubane and relocate them to create an artificial yet unique landscape on each of the newly established islands. This is not only an identity building, aesthetic, and contextual exercise but a method to balance the ph in the soils, which are typically >7ph (alkaline). All planting will be harvested from the Oslo fjord from a similar geological condition, we suggest to have a nursery at Kongshavn and the Fjordhuset that can be used to establish and innovate methods of plant production within the fjord and techniques for planting (stedseget mats, frø, planter). This will not only benefit the ecological emergence upon the site but will also create a hub for knowledge with regard to contextual methods of planting for the Oslo fjord region.

The new river delta is a dynamic landscape that has been planned with the tides, fluctuation in river water volumes, and to minimise potential dredging of the emergency port. Management of the river is key to a successful river delta, the delta represents the condition and care a city has for its river, meaning a non existent delta represents close to zero relationship to its river. Alna has long suffered from pollution, however Kongshavnfjordpark will be a catalyst for change in this regard. The river will not have a cleaning infrastructure located at its entry point to the sea, this would not only be costly economically but would serve of little use so far downstream. Instead the proposal wants to utilise simpler technologies to generate stewardship over the river. Small monitoring devices can be placed upstream throughout the river that send feedback loops to a small monitoring station located inside the Fjordhus that can be visually accessible to the visiting public. The monitoring devices will be located close to industrial and commercial areas which will make it easier to hold them accountable for pollution released into Alna.

Phasing and developing the site over time

The project area is today a "drosscape" - a forgotten and abandoned industrial landscape. The area is not accessible or for use by the population directly, but has previously played an important role in the city's ecosystem. The character of the place must change, and the logic must be anchored in the landscape it is located in. This change will not happen overnight or only through programming, but through the involvement of and collaboration with the population and users so that the place will have a natural identity that becomes over time. This can be done, among other things, through participation processes and the implementation of temporary programming.

Potential stakeholders that can be involved to create Kongshavnfjordpark and knowledge centre:

A day in the life at Kongshavnfjordpark:

A rainy day at the Fjordhus

Future vision:

10 Recommendations for the site: 1 We give Alna her mouth back and create a delta. A link is created between city, port, river and sea. 2 ICON - Norway's first "Naturum" and marine knowledge centre. Restore and re-establish the river delta and create climate-adaptive landscapes 3 Using local resources/materials as a pilot project on site landscape and buildings. 4 We want to create nature-based solutions for cleaning and monitoring the river upstream rather than establishing expensive solutions downstream. Here, the existing group of professionals and volunteers can be used. 5 Show the hidden phenomenon that lies in the underlying geology. 6 Patience to allow the landscape to be shaped over time - give the city's population green fingers 7 A neighbourhood under and above water — People and nature as co-habitants 8 Shape the landscape and buildings so that functions and programs overlap outside as well as inside and enable participation for all ages. 9 Create a group of actors who can drive the vision forward through participation from users and leadership. 10 Integrated play and pedagogy throughout the park

Project Team: Eric Reid, Linn Runeson, Janina Sánchez Cárdenas, Runa Hermansen

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