Client: Vestland County Council
Status: Project (2022) On going
Location: Etne, Norway
Climate: Oceanic / maritime, Temperate
Materials: Concrete, Wood
Scale: 2.000 ㎡ Medium
Types: Education, School
How can public schools play a greater civic role in rural Norway? Good meeting places are important for good public health and a good local environment. Today, Skakke is the heart of Etne and is a center for school, sports, and culture. The building houses a large sports hall, library, cinema, theater hall, and a youth club. Through the spring of 2022, LOCAL and Pir II have been engaged as advisers to design an innovative activity facility in connection with Skakke, where primarily young people will spend their free time and lunch hours every day.
Today, young people prefer to be inside during their free time. A survey shows that young people in Etne are not satisfied with their local environment, they are less active and lonelier than the average in the county and the rest of the country. But, – we were able to get to know the local environment through a participation process together with the young people in the area and it is a unique involvement in Etne. Young people are particularly engaged and want rooms they can take ownership of. They want places where they can be welcome to use and be active together.
Young people need informal places to meet in order to be together both during and outside school hours. The chess square must therefore be a place that young people can always come to and that they can feel ownership and belonging, and can be proud of. For us we also believe that the project should appeal to all generations and that the seniors living around the area in villas or at the nearby care home and retirement participate and take a role to play. They have a strong commitment to get involved in local activities, and good knowledge to repair and maintain the area once it is developed. This is a chance to create a multi-generational public space for the city.
The square will offer varying active offers throughout the year, and be a place for games and events. The space will be used for ball games, spending time in the garden, taking a walk and hanging out. The stage roof will provide many opportunities such as outdoor cinema, concerts, and taking part in the Etne Cup. Through transformation, the square becomes part of the heart of Etne. We work with Vestland County Council for the development and construction of simple, local meeting places with varied and attractive low-threshold offers for physical activity. These must be innovative in function, organization and activities.