Framifrå Arkitekter (Oslo)
A project of scale and size as the new government building should start with two approaches:
A general discussion that sees the project in a larger urban context and a thorough assessment of the qualities the existing building stock represents.
Y-blokka has been talked down and given little value in the debate so far. We wish through our contribution to discuss and enlighten the qualities Y-blokka represents, both in it self and in relation to the city and its immediate surroundings.
¼ of the area required
It is claimed that Y-blokka is less space efficient than high-rise building. But relative to the areas they occupy Y-blokka with its 13,000 sq m and høyblokka with its 15,000 sq m are approximately equally space-efficient. And adding 15 floors to Y -blokka will alone cover ¼ of the government quarter future space requirements.
The Y-blokka plan, with its three arms, represents flexibility in the choice of different layouts. The width of the arms provides flexibility for various working situations, and the central connection point in the three-arm layout provides both efficient logistics vertically and short distances between large areas on each floor.
Creating Public Spaces
A government quarter is more than just stacking enough sq m office space. The surrounding urban spaces are of high importance. With its three arms Y-blokka generates three generous urban spaces. At the same time the Picasso facade makes a strong connection to the Parliament building on Karl Johan.
It may sound too simple and straight forward, but an important and potentially liberating question one should raise at the beginning of a complex process is: Y not? The Y-blokka may not give a good answer to all the challenges and needs of the future government quarter, but it is at least polite to ask and listen to what it has to say.
Framifrå Arkitekter is an Oslo-based architectural practice, established 2011 by Grethe Løland and Sondre Gundersen.