Alvarez . Ouburg

Hortus Conclusus . Europan 12 . Ås

laura alvarez architecture . Office Jarrik Ouburg

The Municipality of Ås must during the next 25 years provide space for a doubling of its population. The reason for this significant urban development is the general growth in the Oslo region and the good transport accessibility of Ås – but it is also the expansion of the university, located in the municipality, that requires a modified view of the city.

The ‘Hortus conclusus’ project is based on a clear and well-articulated spatial strategy to strengthen the relationship between university campus and Ås town centre by means of a green cultural corridor offset by a well-defined- grid structured- high density housing strip. Within the wider area strategy the project site becomes an anchor point between the two new proposed axes of the town and is envisaged as an inward orientated, car free, Hortus conclusus. The jury admires the compositional qualities of this proposition (‘a jewel box of urbanity’) in which the various separate urban elements, including the two historic wooden buildings, are unified by a peripheral garden wall into a new urban ensemble. The integration of various building volumes and typologies grouped around the walled garden as well the vertical articulation of a proposed hotel tower creates a cohesive urban landmark. The jury welcomes the subtle reference to the modernistic aesthetics of Tandberg paintings as inspiration for the proposed urban figure-ground configuration.

Client: Municipality of Ås, University of Life Sciencies (UMB)
Program: Cultural CLuster with student housing, public library, congress centre, hotel, Tandberg Museum, theatre, supermarket, parking
Year: 2012
Status: Competition, SECOND PRIZE, ongoing

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