Vardø, Norway, Swiming with the Fish 2009

Europan 10 Competition
In Collaboration with ExperimentalFields

Our project calls for a multi-scale regeneration of Vardø. We propose a linear waterfront infrastructure, linking nodes of activity along its length. This path would join the new town plaza to old fishery buildings undergoing rehabilitation for new industries.

The Proden will eventually house a range of indoor social spaces necessary for civic gatherings during the harsh winters. Each program element is contained in a discrete volume, which will allow construction in phases, adapting to the needs of Vardø as it grows and further funds become available. This strategy also addresses the necessary environmental isolation within Proden, and allows uninterrupted use during construction. The programs (exhibition hall, workship and residences for artists, cafeteria, youth and retiree day centers, and the town development offices) can run on independent timetables.

The most distinctive feature of Proden is the subtle promenade, introducing the bather gradually to the bay. This walkway leads to a series of pools in the sea, of varying temperatures, that are embraced by open-air aquaria. The swimmers are observed by the fish – and vice versa.