Mauranger Feasibility Study

In 2018, Kvinnherad municipality asked 3RW to analyse the Mauranger area and its three villages, Sunndal, Austrepollen and Nordrepollen, in order to formulate a concept for their future development. Using diverse graphic imageries, we have created a detailed urban vision which focuses of the soft expansion of Sunndal’s centre. The main design solutions include carefully placed new single-family units, with a special row housing project by the shore, as well as new maritime equipment for sportive and social activites at the waterfront. This addition of such architectural elements will ensure Sunndal’s attractiveness, and its desirable future growth.

Our office’s proposal is based on interventions that preserve – and feed from – Sunndal’s spatial and built identity. This attitude reflects 3RW’s general work ethics towards urban planning. Indeed, we here demonstrate that simple, smart interventions can answer the municipality’s wishes for higher density while taking into account the rich cultural heritage found on site. The new additions (housing, boat houses, pier, new waterfront promenade) relate to past equipment and buildings found in the village; they are linked both programmatically and formally. Moreover, they are placed in a way that doesn’t undermine the spectacular local geography.

As we give much value to participative processes, Mauranger’s feasibility study first started with targeted conversation with the inhabitants of the Sunndal, Austrepollen and Nordrepollen area, where members of the public shared their most salient needs and wishes. A lot of the ideas expressed in these meetings related to safe and lively street life, along with the densification of buildings and services. The team at 3RW arkitekter then proceeded to the production of clear growth guidelines for the municipality. Texts, diagrams and illustrations give shape to an exciting possible urban future for Sunndal and its neighbors. It was essential for us to propose a plan that reinforces existing qualities, while also introducing new ones.

All new volumes have excellent road access and good visual contact the water: despite their denser urban distribution, sight lines towards the fjord are maintained. We purposefully kept the number of additional houses low in order to protect the existing greenery within Sunndal and avoid interfering with its established structures. These new singular housing units are therefore distributed very discretely within the area, and are shaped in a style that imitates or reinterprets traditional typologies – the same “gentle infill” strategy is adopted for the creation of new boat shelters by the western shore.

A special ensemble of seven row houses constitutes an important component of our Mauranger proposal. Half-hidden within the site’s naturally terraced landscape, the housing project borders the new pedestrian and cycling path which extends to the north-eastern end of the village. To insure privacy to the house occupants and pleasantness to the path users, the ground floor of the ensemble takes the form of a blind stone base, with the wood houses sitting on top of it. Their general morphology contributes to their good integration in Sunndal’s plateau.

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