Text description provided by the architects. Link Arkitektur won the competition for a combined housing and business project development, in the autumn of 2006 with the project called ”In between “. The project situated in the Damsgård area of the town of Bergen in Norway, consists of three different subprojects, “Verket”, “Støperiet” and “Verket 4”. It has an estimated total of 32 000 m2. The first project, “Verket” was completed in 2012. The second project, “Støperiet” is recently completed with residents, scheduled to move in August, 2013. The last phase and third project, “Verket 4” is currently under construction with completion scheduled for autumn 2014. Each of the three projects has its own distinctive architectural identity, but at the same time they share a homogeneous visual expression which refers to the history of the site and its surroundings.
The housing project “Støperiet” is situated close to Damsgårdsundet harbour front in Bergen. Like so many other harbour areas in European cities and in the rest of the world, this part of the city is going through a transformation; from industry to housing and business areas. This unique location between the Fjord and the mountains and in addition, within walking distance to the city centre and university, gives future residents innumerable possibilities concerning work and recreation. “Støperiet” together with several other projects in the area will create approximately 1100 new flats, cafes, shops and small businesses in close proximity to the city centre.
The politicians in Bergen municipality have high ambitions to create a future-oriented district that will be attractive for all demographic groups. A pedestrian bridge over the fjord for cyclists and pedestrians is under planning and will span from the district’s new main Square “Markusplassen” to the new commercial area on the city side. This will contribute to connecting the commercial and social centre in Damsgård and create an interactive plaza for the city and the developing area. The square named after the Markus church in the nearby vicinity links it to its geographical surroundings.
The local school, Ny Krohnborg School, is modernized and combines regional functions such as a local cultural centre, sports facilities and a kindergarten. A new promenade and outdoor swimming facilities will be established along the existing harbour front. “Støperiet” is situated in the centre of this exciting new district, with the listed Iron Foundry building as part of its location. The foundry’s architecture originates from 1890-1900 and creates the possibility for interesting architectural juxtapositions; new versus old. The listed building will be restored, but at the same time developed into a modern shopping facility. The housing part of the “Støperiet” is divided into two light volumes hovering over the historical foundry building, thus creating a totally new and exciting visual image in the district.
The concept builds on the historical industrial iron production in the foundry on the site. Enormous steel beams cantilever over the old building establishing a lightness that creates a dramatic contrast to the historical architecture of the heavy brick building. The facades and the window positioning have been determined based on the large steelbeams being a part of the construction. This adds a tactile and fluid rhythm to the façade and its overall expression. The sloping windows accentuate the buildings distinct character, making it easily recognizable. The project contains 45 flats with a light and a spacious interior. The oblique window shape creates a dynamic and unusual feeling from the internal space. All flats are prepared for disabled users. There is a large communal roof terrace on one of the buildings.