The largest audience is located around the country in schools and kindergartens. Children and youngsters find that a room they associate with teaching and everyday life, is transformed into art. The Cultural Rucksack system is a major democratic project that gives the young audience artistic experiences regardless of residence and background. We think, as all other arts, the performing art need its own venue, its own national arena.
But how should we design space for performing arts in this context? First of all, we want to create an arena for both audiences, artists and professionals, an energetic and dynamic meeting place with space for experiments, investigations, collaboration and coincidences. And not least, both a three-year-old and an eighteen-year-old should feel at home in the rooms. Secondly, there has been few, if any, thorough studies of how the performing arts for the young audience can be accommodated.
We have conducted a survey of the use and need for pre-production/rehearsal rooms, and a large proportion of artists and producers respond that there is a lack of rooms that meet their needs, including the possibility of easy entry and exit and to allow the scenography to be in the room throughout the day.
We have also visited Black Box Theater, Dansens hus and Teater Innlandet, as well as several theaters for children and youth abroad, to explore different solutions and conditions for technology, production and operation, as well as spatial and architectural solutions. We have also had discussions with the Deichmanske library about the study they conducted in cooperation with the users in connection with the establishment of Biblo Tøyen, the country’s first library for children and youth only.
In cooperation with Transborder Studio we have carried out two preliminary projects to imagine KLODEN into real estate projects. The first project in 2016 was at the Vippetangen, and was applicable to Skur 40, owned by Oslo Havn KF. The location here would have been a temporary solution with a duration of about five years, and KLODEN at Vippetangen was in this study considered as a pilot project before permanent establishment somewhere else in the city. The pre-design gave us the opportunity to test thoughts and ideas in a relatively limited spatial and temporal perspective.
The other pre-projection is part of a project still under way: Kabelgata at Økern. Since February 2017 we have been in dialogue with Oxer Estate to make KLODEN an artistic engine in the development of this growth area. This project is very interesting considering both localization and spatial possibilities.
Kabelgata at Økern
We are currently investigating opportunities for localization of KLODEN in Kabelgata at Økern. In cooperation with Transborder Studio architectural office, we conducted a pre-project for Oxer in spring 2017, with a model showing how KLODEN can be designed in existing buildings vis-à-vis
kuben High School. There is mutual interest in realizing the project and we already see good opportunities for building KLODEN in existing structures in a way that will make the site open and accessible.
The current property is located in a central growth area where the local community and KLODEN can strengthen each other mutually, while located within walking distance to a pubic transportation junction at Økern will make the site accessible to the entire city. Oxer wants the area to be a vital meeting place for children and young people, both outdoors and indoors, and wish to fill the business premises primarily with art and cultural activities. We have found a building that will give KLODEN good accessibility and visibility.
Oxen and we view KLODEN as an artistic engine in the development of this area. We have a good dialogue on the possible progressive development of the arena with a full establishment goal in 2020. Further progress depends on the progress in Oxer’s overall development project and KLODEN’s ability to present a financing plan at an appropriate time.
We want to fill KLODEN with lots of activity and meetings, in short, to be a vital infrastructure for this whole field of art. Therefore, the solutions in Kabelgata will have a great deal of flexibility. We have emphasized good solutions for production and rehearsal rooms with regard to technical standard, space and capacity. The reason for this is to provide the artists with the necessary facilities and resources in order to work optimally. It should be easy to rig into a good production room and move the scenography from there into one of the stages shortly before the premiere. In this way we can have several performances. The production rooms will also be used for workshops, courses, meetings and academic events.
To create activity and both planned and random meetings we believe it is important that the spatial structure is both open and flexible. At the same time, flexibility in terms of space solutions and technology in practice can create a rigid everyday life that requires a lot of planning and resources and, in particular, requires high investment costs. Further investigations around this will be a major part of the further work on establishing KLODEN.
PDF of Opportunity Study: KLODEN i Kalbelgata, by Transborder Studio: