Along with the municipality of Larvik, Mad Arkitekter has proposed new development plans for Martineåsen, a future new district west of Larvik City Center. The project celebrates the natural context of the site while creating a small-town community with all required amenities, within walking distance.
Martineåsen Nature Town, diverges in its planning from the usual developments on the outskirts of Norwegian cities, consisting usually of detached houses and malls. The new vision puts in place, as the architects state “a town that offers a neighborhood at the front door and the natural landscape at the garden door”. In fact, the proposed new urban development suggests the creation of a community, rather than isolated singular homes.
With Martineåsen we decided to go in a different direction. We wanted to celebrate the beautiful nature of the site while also offering the key qualities of a small-town community with local shops and shared amenities within a short walk. -- Mad Arkitekter.
Guidelines for the plan highlight primarily the non-built areas, including natural important factors of the site like the highest peak, the old surrounding forest, as well as streams, wetlands, meadows and the local farmland. The proposal suggests building some structure on stilts, to connect the town to the landscape and integrate local hiking paths to the infrastructure of the project. Moreover, situated in the center, lake “Kleivertjern” creates a particular atmosphere, with water running in a shifted strip of parks and plazas. The blue and green recreational spine culminates in a boardwalk by the lake.
The layout of the landscape defines subareas in the development, each with a unique set of conditions that shape the plots and typologies giving each area its own identity such as hill-town, “forest clusters” and eco-village. -- Mad Arkitekter.
Inspired by the vernacular Norwegian “tun”, where houses are clustered around an open court, the main typology of the average 2.5 story-houses form an urban landscape and define networks. These agglomerations open to semi-private courtyards and community spaces. Similar in scale to the old town of Larvik, the proposal generates small plot sizes that encourage small and private developers to invest and build.