av Aleksander Sund Vågsholm
Fosnavåg, Norway

– A processing facility for seaweed and traditional seafood in the harbour of Fosnavåg

I chose to work with Fosnavåg because my family is from the area and I feel a strong connection to the place myself. The town also represents a coastal community in change, which there are so many of along the Norwegian coast.

The fishing village is situated in the island municipality Herøy on the north west coast of Norway. The name comes from the landscape – a sheltered bay forming a natural harbour. The harbour is the center of the town. Fishing and the offshore supply industry are the cornerstone businesses. Fishing is a seasonal activity and the large fishing boats fish up their quotas very quickly, which leaves the harbour inactive at longer periods of the year. The town has in recent years been planning how they can create new activities in the harbour, both connected to production and recreation, for the harbour and the town to stay relevant in the future. The site is the old foundations of two seahouses located next to a coastal culture center. The seahouses in Fosnavåg are traditionally multifunctional buildings. They were used as both spaces to store fish, accommodation for people in the seasonal fishery, to store equipment, to fix boats and much more.

Model Langebuda 1:50

The architecture in the projects focus on three main topics

-The process of farming seaweed: How the architecture can be driven by the program and how the buildings can be rigged for different seasons.

-The sensory experience of being close to the sea: The light, the smell, the sound, the movement.

-How to relate to existing vernacular maritime architecture and the landscape of the natural harbour.

The project investigates a meeting place revolving around the activity of processing seafood. It suggests a collective facility which can be used by different actors throughout the seasons, functioning as a maker space for seafood.
The project specifically looks into farming and processing seaweed which is a growing part of our coastal culture. The facility aims to reach across generations – from young people learning about the marine ecosystem and local food to the aging generation passing on knowledge about traditional food conservation.

Norway has the second longest coast in the world with a rich maritime history. Most settlements along the coast are connected to a harbour as the resources for survival were found and still are found in the ocean.

The Norwegian coast has temperatures perfect for growing seaweed. Being a primary producer, seaweed is a sustainable food source for humans and animals. It doesn’t need fertiliser or freshwater, and it captures CO2. Farming seaweed in utility gardens at sea is relatively new in our coastal culture, but gives the advantage of contributing to both the marine ecosystem and our food plate. I believe that it is important for the survival of our coastal communities to continue to produce food and explore new ways to use the resources in the ocean. The norwegian word for farmer – bonde comes from the word boende – staying.