WELCOME TO OSLO!

Lotte Sekkelsten Østby

ls.ostby@gmail.com
916 27 698

HOW CAN JERNBANETORGET SQUARE BE ADAPTED TO MAKE IT A PLEASANT PLACE TO SPEND TIME WHILE AT THE SAME TIME GIVING A WARM WELCOME TO THE CITY?

What did you want to accomplish with your project?

I have worked with urban spaces in my project and examined what is necessary for someone to choose to spend time in a place instead of just passing through it. I have investigated what makes people enjoy themselves in public places, and what functions and activities should be available in order for people to want to spend time there. A very important part of the project has been to find out how places can be designed so that they are seen as attractive and arouse curiosity. I have looked at Jernbanetorget square in Oslo as an urban space with lots of potential, a space that I want to transform into a place that oozes joy, life and laughter, a place filled with people enjoying their surroundings, the weather and each.

What has the process been like?

It has been a long and demanding, but fun process. I have investigated the needs of the users, made many observations and surveyed how Jernbanetorget square functions today. On this basis, I feel that I have arrived at quite clear guidelines to work from. I have travelled and visited other urban spaces, interviewed experts, experimented with form and colour, participated in seminars and spoken with the users.

What has inspired you?

As an interior architecture student, I am inspired by innovative designers who challenge themselves and dare to do things differently from others. In this project, I have been inspired by different urban spaces where form and colour play a dominating role.

How have you chosen to address the research question?

My suggestion for improving Jernbanetorget square is primarily to increase the on-site facilities. By adding new cafés, restaurants etc. with lots of sitting areas both indoors and outdoors, and a market place, I think that the users will come running. I have chosen to establish large platforms, on which the ground floor houses a café, market and sitting areas. The first floors, which will function as terraces, will be used for seating. By using such platforms, I have both increased the available area, but also been able to make better use of the view and the sun. The style is organic and I have made active use of colours as a means of developing a new identity.

Why has this been important to you?

I have a personal involvement in this project. I was born and raised in Oslo and think that it’s a real shame to hear what tourists’ first impressions of the city are when they arrive at Oslo Central Station, Jernbanetorget square and the surrounding area. The city, its inhabitants and tourists deserve a warm welcome with the focus on generosity and enjoyment. I hope that a new improved meeting place with a clear identity will change users’ impression of the city, and that we can transform this urban space into a place that is actually used and not just a quiet, grey and down at heel place that you only pass through to get from A to B.