Kilen Brygge

Project details

Location: Sandefjord, Norway

Size: 25 000m²

Client:

Recognition: 1st prize invited architectural competition

Built: 2007

Project description

As time passes the project comprises a whole city district. Although it’s separated from the downtown area, it is absolutely a part of Sandefjord’s new appearance. The district at Kilgaten will develop around a city district plaza, Kilen Square, as its main attraction. Snug and open to sunlight, it is surrounded by a variety of buildings with a diversity of functions. The district will attain its substance once the square is built; it will become a place. Building 3, the relatively small edifice on the north, scales down the development in its encounter with square.

Building 4/5, with its large and clearly defined sloping roof surface, is placed solidly and strongly against building 7, the 11-storey high-rise, a slim vertical building with a relatively modest footprint, and marks the space of the square as the main element of the area. Plaza spaces, narrow alleys, water spaces and quayside strolls comprise a versatile course of public spaces and lines of communications.

The challenge in this sort of urban district development is always a matter of getting the dimensions of public spaces right in relation to the amount of people who are being invited into it. Oversized and barren surfaces, docks and quays that are too wide in this context are well-known problems. The design of large buildings is architecturally demanding on exposed property, facing the sea, with no terrain to support them. Naturally, buildings need to be relatively substantial on shore properties to justify capital expenditures. The costs of a foundation have to be spread among a minimum number of floors.

Compounding this problem, modern residents want to park their cars close to a lift and expect the lift to be close to their residence. The garage requires an extra storey of its own and, closed and inaccessible as it must be, this complicates retention of a pleasant milieu along the quay. Another challenge for the builder is the meticulous detail work considered necessary for a sculpturally designed, aesthetically pleasing building. The development of a waterfront property calls for special characteristics. The architect knows that contextually the building will often be surrounded by vessels of various sizes, and a relevant style must have a certain maritime affiliation. This isn’t a boat being built but it is a building on the water. One seeks a change in pace where the development reaches the shoreline and crawls up on land.