Feasibility Study for Hjelle
In the winter of 2018, Stryn municipality commissioned 3RW architects to create a concept for the future development of Hjelle, a small village in the Oppstryn area. The aim of the project is to articulate a detailed urban and architectural vision outlining the expansion of Hjelle’s centre. Proposed design solutions include new housing units, refurbishment of existing buildings and the addition of sport and social equipment by the waterfront: a collection of elements that will ensure Hjelle’s attractiveness.
The proposal focuses on gestures that preserve – and feed from – Hjelle’s distinctive character: we aim to prove that simple interventions can answer the municipality’s wishes for higher density while taking into account the valuable cultural heritage found on site. We also propose new boathouses, a park and common outdoor areas in its centre. These proposed gestures link back to existing equipment such as the old harbour, shop and Hjelle hotel, near the old cluster community.
Divided in two parts, the feasibility study first focused on targeted conversation with the local public, helping inhabitants to identify their needs and wishes – most ideas expressed in meeting related to street life and densification (buildings and services) possibilities. The second part consists of the production of guidelines for the municipality. Texts, diagrams and illustrations give shape to a desirable growth for Hjelle: one that reinforces exiting qualities and introduces new ones.
The remains of an ancient settlement and graves from the Viking era show that Hjelle held a relative central position in earlier times. With a round “tun” consisting of three farms, its centre includes beautiful, older buildings constituting a clearly readable historical built environment. All volumes have good contact with both road and lake, and despite their dense urban distribution, sight lines to the water are visible between all of them. These are qualities that our proposal aims at strengthening.
We propose to use three big, centrally located barns as new housing buildings. They provide a floor area of interest, ranging between 200 to 300 m2 each, while their façades present a charming traditional style: the project suggests a discreet series of interventions that would stay true to the original exterior design. Moreover, in conjunction with regulatory plans and other processes, our proposal includes the creation and acquisition of four new plots that can be occupied without interfering with the village’s established structures.