Volume study, Førde city center

The population in Sogn og Fjordane is decreasing while Førde is growing slightly. By strengthening the city center of Førde as a social and regional center, it can become a more interesting town in the future. An enhancing of the city`s character could make it easier to attract commercial interests like educational institutions, public administration and cultural activities. The current population growth is too small to plan for a big expansion. It is necessary that the entire potential for investment is used in a strategic building of the city. Developing a denser center could be a part of a clear urban strategy. There are several advantages to a dense city center: It creates synergies between various functions. It benefices pedestrians, giving more people the opportunity to live in walking distance from work, commerce, home, culture and recreational areas. The result is a less car dependent lifestyle. It gives the city a clearer identity. More functions gathered in one place will strengthen each other and the character of the place. A city of such strong nature will have more force in attracting people and commercial interests. It builds on what we already have, reuse and further development. It is environmentally sustainable, making better use of common facilities. The principle is sharing the functions.
There are also some challenges for a dense city: To secure the quality of the building structure it is important to find the balance between need for daylight and utilization. It is important to plan for distinct common spaces and recreational areas. The form of construction should allow for the program of the city to develop over time. Different use of buildings could give a diverse pattern of settlement. Plans should have a strategy for how this can be done. Førde is still a small town; the plan must be open to development of both small and bigger projects. Investments will most likely happen over time and in parts. The plan of densification should hence have the capacity to be split into several phases. By our method we have made a basis containing studies of delineations, traffic patterns, common space, urban landscape, an evaluation of today´s land use and the connections to surrounding areas. We have made four different volume studies for the city center. Two key areas, Firda Billag and Elvegata are illustrated with various patterns of development. We have formulated a recommendation for the further development of Førde based on these studies.

Project 

Førde volume study

Location 

Førde, Norway

Year 

2014

Comission 

Prequalification

Client 

Municipality of Førde

Status 

Delivered

Architects 

Mestres Wåge Arquitectes/ Nordplan AS MWA:Maria Mestres, Magnus Wåge, Martin Hauge NP: Arild Wåge