Diploma 2014: "BETWEEN SKY AND FJORD" by Karianne Sværen

introducing waterscapes to encourage encounters, Vikevåg center, Rennesøy

This diploma project aims to renew the center of Vikevåg in Ren­nesøy, in order to create new meeting places, business development and a more vibrant area

Rennesøy is an archipelago located north of Stavanger city in Norway. After the municipality was connected to the mainland in 1992 by underwater tunnels, the population growth has exploded. For the five recent years, Rennesøy has kept the title as the fastest growing municipality in Rogaland county. For three consecutive years it has topped the surveys of best living conditions for municipalities in the same county. Because of this, together with its scenic location, Rennesøy has become a popular place to live and is today the home of 4800 inhabitants. The short distance to the urban life of Stavanger is only a 25 minute drive away, whichresults in daily commuting to work.

The site of the project is located in Vikevåg on the actual island of Rennesøy. Vikevågs importance as one of Rennesøys best ports of call made Vikevåg a suitable center of the island. This has been a natural choice from the migration period until Rennesøy was connected with the tunnel connection and the ferry stopped tarnishing Vikevåg. Now the place has lost some of its logical location related to infrastructure, but it still retains its essential function as a community center. This is also a political choice. The site has strong local historical identity and is very nicely located in the countryside between fjords, mountains and farmland. The center contains public functions, some commerce and industry. Vikevåg is also a throughfare for people going further north towards Bergen.

Today, Vikevåg center is not perceived as a very welcoming place as it perhaps could be. It is in lack of certain public programs and does not offer a good environment. As the quay space is a legacy of ferry traffic, the place is missing intimate spaces that makes it attractive to stay in Vikevåg. The place is drafty and feels unappealing.This diploma aims to reinvent this center by creating attractive meeting places and an innovative business community, to take back the life that ones used to be here. A new waterscape makes one perceive the fjord in a unique way and strengthens Rennesøys identity. Intensifying the center with awaited programs via sheltered and sunny outdoor spaces, will draw attention. These proposals would enhance the vibrance of a center which is an important foundation for further growth in Vikevåg.

All photos: Karianne Sværen

Overview exhibition 

Proposal 1:200


Situation map Vikevåg 

Situation model 1:500


Wish model