GET OVER IT 01A: THE SITE
Strømsø district is situated between the railway to the
The concept behind the quote “GET OVER IT” basically sums up the projects intentions by north, Telhusgata to the east, cut by the Bjørnstjerne
pointing out that the only way to move forward - is by getting over it! To move forward in a new direc- Bjørnsons gate to the south and Strømsø square to the
tion it is required to forget the issues and problems, but learn from how the existing situation func-
The district is closed though the grid structured inter-
tion and bridge new ideas over them. Looking into the future is a motivating power to help forget nal street system makes the area permeable for motor
and seek new perspectives. To encourage new ideas the current history and situation needs to be vehicles. The overall impression is the sense of emptiness
closed and sealed. Though, a required sense of keeping the good qualities to be further developed when walking along side the streets and buildings. High
is required. Looking at Strømsø from an objective eye, it can be rather demoralizing to realize how density of motorized vehicles is encouraged by the high
dysfunctional the public spaces are: “GET OVER IT” How the railway tracks are fenced in block- accommodation of parking spaces - making the district a
ing all possible connection with the water: “GET OVER IT” How public transportation is remote
from where the action is taking place: “GET OVER IT”
typical motorized area not giving much space for public
LOST SPACE (1): 04 LOST SPACE (2-5): 04
FIG. 01 - 05
Dissecting district it is alarming to notice how much po-
tentially good spaces is used for parking. The architectur-
al typology suggests a broad mixture of old and new (new
in that sense that block structures without a sense of
esthetics occupy large areas and disrupts potential views
towards the waterfront), and the district is represented
with a high degree of residential units. The first impres-
sion of the whole Strømsø area is in general favoring the
sense of indifference. OLD: 03 LOST SPACE (6): 04 PERMEABLE: 05
MAKING SENSE OF STRØMSØ
Drammen is divided in two by the river; a south and north district connected by bridges. The notion of such an urban 01B: THE ISSUES
THE WATERFRONT: 06
disfunction creates several issues for a town that wishes to be a unified entity. Some like to think of Drammen as the “HIGH QUALITY FOR
north side of the river imaged by the Bragernes square with it´s starting point from the train station. A common Most of the issues will in detail be pointed in the analysis, PUBLIC USE ALONG THE
image though is that Drammen is nothing but a regional transit station where travelers usually need to wait before however, as mentioned the site is distinct in it´s separa- WATERFRONT IS AVAIL-
connecting with the south going train or the train towards Oslo or Bergen. tion between two districts defined as Bragernes and ABLE, THOUGH ONLY
Strømsø. This leaves the image of Drammen somewhat
FROM TWO ENTRANCE
“GET OVER IT” thinks of Drammen as a great potential for exploring new perspectives and ideas to create divided into two - though one entity is surely pursued in
an urban district for the future, also considering the connectivity towards the rest of Drammen. Making sense of POINTS: THE NORTH
the many strategic projects undertaken in Drammen.
Strømsø forces the project to look at Drammen as a whole and acknowledge the variety of commercial and cultural - SOUTH CONNECTING
Principle: The new concepts brings together the idea of BRIDGE VIA THE TRAIN
activity on the Bragernes side and realize that Strømsø needs to be something different. a connected Drammen and nurtures on the strengths On the Bragernes side of the river, facing south, the
of existing Strømsø. waterfront has been turned into a long public promenade STATION, BY BOAT AND
Moving through Strømsø gives a feeling of being a part of Roger Tranciks book “Lost Space”. The total lack of public viewing the river and Strømsø. The qualities achieved by TELEHUSGATA”
spaces to enjoy; The overkill of parking places nurture motorized vehicles; The poor sense of identity though history good access towards the waterfront is of high value for
is still present between buildings which in sum creates an image of a district full of edges and obstacles for pedestri- residents and visitors.
ans to enjoy. Realizing the interesting paradox between a strong grid structure nutureing ideas of great potential at
the same time not being a part of Drammen, gives a complex picture of what is needed to be conceptualized. A mix of FIG. 06 - 07
dysfunctional places and buildings is never the less evenly connected with beautiful sites as the church and its adja- Strømsø on the other hand faces a different challenge
cent surrounding on the west side defined by old building typologies. Making sense of Strømsø is about acknowledg- considering the distinct separation between the water-
ing the potential more than recognizing its weaknesses as a district. front and the urban structure.
The railway cuts straight through and forces people away
from enjoying a direct access to the water. This is though
achievable from the bridge and from Telhusgata - but in
a poor manner. The combination of poor public areas and
overused spaces for parking, lack of good green spaces
suggests big issues which needs to be solved.
CONNECTING THE REGION GETTING OF THE Get over it needs to focus on the strengths of Strømsø,
find the qualities and enforcing these to the benefit of a
The importance of Drammen as a regional node is clear every day when local and regional trains travels alongside
the river, getting people to Oslo or Bergen, or Sandefjord towards Kristiansand. During the last ten years Drammen TRAIN new structure and future vision.
has improved its reputation through at strong strategic urban branding. Drammen as a whole has managed to brand As mentioned it is necessary to see Strømsø as part of
Though travelers and commuters frequently pass a whole defining Drammen as one entity - therefore the
itself through conscious planning and strong local community engagement. The political process has been crucial to
by, and in and out, of Strømsø, they usually never strategy will look at two aspects of doing so, still keeping
sustain stability in the strategic work. Slowly the reputation has turned from being only a transit area to become a
leave the train station even though transit is one to the competition site as focus. The strength of Strømsø
destination of interest. This is what makes Strømsø so interesting as a project. Creating the district for future desti-
hours waiting. There is a mental block walking is structured around the consciousness that changes are
nation is conceptually seen in direct relation with the north side, however “GET OVER IT” seeks to stand out as
cross the bridge towards Bragernes within this to be made.
an independent - but connected structure.
timeframe, and Strømsø outside the door do not
have anything to offer of interest. At least nothing Looking towards the future by reducing car use, establish
Connecting the region plays on different levels. One is the focus on how to connect Drammen as one through two
that awakes an immediate interest amongst waiting better walkability, create great places to be, localize tar-
strategically strong sides of the river that motivates each other to improve and attract, not competing against each
travelers. A couple of snack bars and a small bakery get points for new destinations is all feasible elements in
other. This is of paramount necessity. Another need is to create several small destinations within the district that
just outside the main entrance do not qualify as an restructuring the old Strømsø into the improved Strømsø.
enforces the regional attractiveness and connectivity. Being a regional hub of connection comes with a responsibility
attraction. There are three aspects related to the There is an established grid system aligned by several
to provide commuters, travelers and others an enjoyable place to visit, transit, leisure, live or work.
unfortunate waiting situation when connecting with open spaces which has been defined as typical “lost
the the east, west or south bound trains; spaces” in the diagrams above.
THE STATION AREA is in need of upgrade to accom- Potentially some of these places are already situated as
modate travelers needs, especially during winter core junctions framing in possibilities for new squares,
time when its cold, wet or dark. As an architectural green spaces and more. Though the variety of architec-
object Drammen train station is something men- tural typology, some even very ugly, the sustainable way
tioned with a low voice. It is dirty. It is smelly. It is of balancing new buildings and old would be to refurbish
physically out of time. It is not representative for the strategic chosen buildings with new facades and
what and how Drammen now is conceived. energy saving concepts.
A TRAIN STATION with this amount of traffic should The adjacent areas as the sports facilities on the south
offer services of high quality such as places to eat side of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsons gate is a strength which
a good meal, sit down for a good cup of coffee, shop will strategically be included into the improved Strømsø.
and it should be within a reachable five minute “THE TRAIN; TRAM;
walk, not forcing people over the bridge. BUS; BICYCLE AND
The waterfront is a valuable asses for achieving the
THOUSANDS OF FEETS
maximal potential of great spaces and parks, and though
THE STATION AREA AND ADJACENT areas do not the railway is a barrier - Get over it sees it as a strength WILL MEET ITS
accommodate recreation of any kind that could be making the new concept even better argued related to its REQUIRED DEMANDS
of positive time break for travelers, or for that sake purpose and intentions. FOR AN IMPROVED
local residents. The overload of parking spaces STRØMSØ DISTRICT”
steals the eyes attention, and rejects anyone to
Getting of the train is not an amusing experience
if transit is only purpose. However, as a transit
passenger, it would have been feasible to establish
smaller destination to visit so that the traveler is
triggered to come back for a longer stay next time.
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Analysing Strømsø 04D: TRAFFIC
The diagram below shows the permeability of Strømsø -
The analysis of Strømsø discovers issues of concern which generates the foundation for how, what when it regards traffic and access for motorized vehicles.
and which direction the strategies needs to be taken. Core elements such as PUBLIC SPACES, AC- The district is penetrated by streets making the district
CESSEBILITY, PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT and GREEN SPACES are crucial elements of which is needed a typical car zone, and combined with good access to
parking it makes it almost impossible to achieve a people
to create great places. Another major issue in Strømsø is the WATERFRONT; how will Strømsø open
+ + + =
friendly district. The figures to the right very much il-
up towards the waterfront; how will the Strømsø balance the connection between the waterfront and lustrates the obstacles people meet when they are forced
only to use the narrow walkways available.
04E: ACCESS POINTS
In relations to the traffic situation and high permeability of
Strømsø, the street grid is served by seven direct access points
for motorized vehicles. All points situated on all three edges
(the waterfront is not considered); south, west and east.
The level of street and traffic priority is obvious, however, it is
not unlikely that each of the access points on the edge creates
barriers for people to cross over - rejecting a safe access to
the district. Such access points are practical feeding machines
for supplying the district with a high level of motorized vehi-
cles, and to some extend serve commercial functions well, but it
02A: PUBLIC SPACES does not provide the district a good image and people friendly
movement. Though using the access points as strategical
guidelines for what should be considered as the centre core of
Public Spaces of good quality is totally absent in Strømsø. Small areas Strømsø is valid (small diagram to the right) in the purpose of
within the district do not manage to accommodate the required standard finding the balance of Strømsø when it relates to movement.
necessary to achieve public and people friendly places to be, leisure, use
or work. Traffic is a barrier, and looking at the eigth elderly woman
A successful place needs people. People are attracted by activity of in- holding thight to each other when crossing a highly dense
terest and the lack of this requires strong strategies to sustain people street in Sydney, the issue at hand is obvious as a principle.
friendly places, and a strong dynamic district of mixed uses.
02B: PARKING SPACES 04F: WALKABILITY
Current situation stimulates the use of motorized vehicles by accommo- The traffic, the access points and walkability are inte-
dating huge amounts of parking spaces. grated issues at Strømsø. Looking at the walking pattern
in general, it is carried out for a practical purpose in
Diagram to the right clearly displays the favoring of car use quite op- most cases related to the parking. In other cases directly
posite to how future cities is envisaged. The high congestion of pollu-
tion forces people away from the streets and up against the buildings,
generating vacancy of potential public space.
related to work facilities in adjacent area. Visiting Strøm-
sø is not a favorable activity which is very much related
to the poor walkability. This again is directly related to
poor public spaces and total absence of great areas for
The analysis is of no complex character. It basically illustrates the recreation and play. The whole Strømsø district (compete-
misused spaces and how it is used only by some few cars throughout tion area is within acceptable walking distance - see Fig.
the day. Though it is a reminder of how cities prefer to benefit car us- below), which lays the foundations for great strategies to
ers compared to accommodating better for public transportation. The
mentality of using the car is not going to change if the spaces used for
enhance qualities for people to use.
parking is given another character and function that benefits people
friendly use. Regardless of the negative aspect with such a high number
of car parking in a rather small district like Strømsø, it does provide for P P
great potentials as will be displayed in the strategy and conceptual part
of this project.
approx 5 - 7 min
The three pictures are examples of how the district is visually congested normal walk
by such a misused spatial configuration and function.
The river is the central spine of Drammen, connecting two
sides of a city though at the same time cutting the city in
half forcing Drammen to look at it self as a two headed
The North side of the river, Bragernes, is mentally and
physically defined as the centre heart of Drammen -
structured around the square and it´s cultural; business;
03C: THE GREEN SPOTS and other commercial activities.
There is some small areas filled with green, however very close to main The south side defined through Strømsø is considered as
infrastructure not providing the sense of being in a park. Related to the leftovers. The train station is a huge barrier between
public spaces, parks are necessary breaks in the urban structure. The
green carpet gives a soft dimension to the hard surfaces and provides a
the urban fabric and the water (read more 01B) extended
by the railway tracks running vest and east bound. The land train water
necessary possibility for recreation. People seek activities to stimulate a figure colored in red also displayed on the picture to the
sense of well being. People also seek other people and therefore meet- right lets everyone know this is not an easy point to ac-
ing points are created around areas such as parks, playgrounds, sports cess. Access only from water and circles.
facilities and more. Strømsø district does not provide this.
People everywhere are searching for ways local parks can better serve
their communities. Why do some parks succeed as lively public spaces As the above diagram shows, the axis system (both visual
while others fail? and movement) displays four endpoints disrupting visual
and movement patterns.
The small areas of green in Strømsø is set to the edges of the district,
away from good public access. As this is one aspect, the other is the It also display the undisrupted grid system defining
scale and shape of the small “park” looking areas; which do not accom- where and how to move where one need to relate to traffic
modate for people use and recreation. Except from the green strip on as first priority. The other factor is defined in the inter-
the waterfront which do have some qualities, the other three spots are section of several cross points (defined by the big circle)
directly unflattering as small destinations really emphasizing the low emphasized the potential for a centre point of Strømsø
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priority parks have in Strømsø. Looking at Fig. 00 the green footprint of (mentioned in 04B).
Drammen is not impressive when it descends from the surrounding hills
towards the waterfront.
...Strømsø and Bragernes was better connected by a tram system? Get over it looks at the future
aspect of improved transportation and connectivity through an environmental solution. Get over it
plans for people and places - not cars and traffic. More traffic and road capacity are not the inven-
tible result of growth and sustainability. They are the fact the product of very deliberate choices
that shapes communities around the private automobile.
NEW BRIDGE AND BRAGERNES
As a society where making sense should be the top priority the ability to make different choices starts with the decision to design streets as comfortable places for people.
Get over it plans the community of Strømsø around transportation, making Strømsø more accessible influencing quality of life for the future to come.
The idea behind the tram system is not an innovative one, however seen in this relation it might turn out to be exactly that. Giving nurture to the concept of introducing a tram
system which becomes a local system connecting inner centre of Drammen into one entity might be the strength needed to enhance further the branding of Drammen as the
city for the future. In relations to the competition Get over it structures the whole concept layout around the establishment of a tram system. Regardless this idea, the first
phase of such an idea could (with the use of the same street layout) favor carbon free buses in a transit period between bus and tram. The strategy will show a very strong
benefit with the introduction of the tram as it connects with the north and south in a sustainable manner, and connects with adjacent areas making access improved and more
secure by reducing the use of cars, keeping them to the outskirts of the edges.
Strømsø overall strategies new waterfront improved connection between the
waterfront and urban fabric
The overall strategies for Strømsø is about creating places for people
and define the district as a community for the future. Hence to the com-
plexity of the competition program Get over it has pin pointed five major
1) WATERFRONT going green improved connection; train station trains run under the green carpet the new city tram connecting north the buses and cars for train station
2) SQUARES, PARKS & DESTINATIONS and introducing entrance for river creating a non-barrier effect and south making Drammen one is fed under the carpet parallel with
3) TRANSPORTATION & CAR USE REDUCTION taxi entity the train
4) PEDESTRIAN & BICYCLE MOVEMENT AND
5) CONNECTIVITY LOCAL & REGIONAL
the new square of the reduction of car use making
all of great importance which will give: destinations pedestrians the main focus
A. STRØMSØ AS A DISTRICT IMPROVED CONNECTIVITY AND
STRONGER RELATIONSHIP TO BRAGERNES
B. A STRENGTHENING OF DRAMMEN AS ONE ENTITY DEFINED BY
TWO STRONG DISTRICTS
C. PUBLIC SPACES DEFINED THROUGH SEVERAL SMALL
D. GIVING BACK THE WATERFRONT TO PEOPLE BY MAKING IT
MORE ACCESSIBLE BY FOOT ON DIFFERENT LEVELS
E. GREAT PARKS AND SPACES FOR RECREATION AND ACTIVITY
F. SPARKLING STREETS ENFORCING A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES
G. THE MARKET PLACE BACK TO PEOPLE AND BUILD NEW STRONG
The four specified competition areas are given full attention though on
various detailed level. They are through the strategies well connected
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with each other.One of the key features in the strategic concept is the
total refurbishment of the waterfront providing a new facade towards
the river and Bragernes.
It will also become the green carpet connecting with the rest of district
and further into the south part of Drammen where all the sports facili-
ties and recreation areas are situated.
The Square of Destinations HOW: Reaching out like an octopus
Square of Destinations will be the improved Strømsøs new attraction. As illustrated below the dia- Think of an octopus. Then think about how the arms reaches out all at the same time grabbing things of need to sustain
gram shows a comparison between existing situation and proposed situations for Area 1 of the his living. The principle of these arms are applicable for how the square reaches out through the buildings and grabs
people into the square, nurturing the life of the public space. It is all about giving the streets life and substance of
competition. As conceptual layouts the analysis helps Get over it to find the centre core of Strømsø,
such qualities that it becomes interesting to visit and use. Though the arms are long it still needs to be supplied to feed.
and establish this as a strong Square of possibilities and for people to come together. The Square Looking at Fig. 00, 00, 00 and 00 where the tram line has defined three major stops, it is easy to establish a sustained
of Destinations opens up for the traditional market square also directly attached to local shops movement from each of these stops, making people move through and into Strømsø. The grade of activities wanted for
adjacent to the square. the square sprawls from daily use of amenities such as benches, grass, water area, cafes, shops, restaurants to more
event like activities such as concerts, fairs, market days, the world soccer game shown on big digital screen and so forth.
RIGHT SIDE: Existing structure where Area 1 is marked
out for competetion purposes. The conceptual thoughts of how the design of the square should be envisaged are only displayed as simple schemes in
this project, however, the principle alignment of the water bed, the threes to sustain shadow on warm sunny days, envel-
oping of buildings etc are all considered to be the best to support Get over it as a sustainable project.
The tram extends the idea of “Reaching out like an octopus whereas it serves also the north side of the river; Bragernes
(as mentioned in Section 03_Strategy). With a controlled infrastructure, and predicted stops outside the three main
stops of Strømsø, the walkability is increased. Related to this the commercial amenities will provide for work, leisure and
other activities which generates public use and other attractions. The other strength of the tram system is that it makes
it easier to get to all sporting facilities on the south side of Strømsø.
Small destinations Intention Legend
The intention behind the structural composition Examples of content:
1: Main Square
of the main public space is the creation of diver-
2: End of shopping street east
sity. By putting the element of water the public Cafees, restaurants, pubs,
Cafe, restaurants and bars
space is given a meeting point for various activi- bakery, breweries, take
3: Small market connected to
5 ties and use. Looking at the octopus principle away etc. RIGHT SIDE: Existing struc
independent grocery shops for o
4 reaching out through the streets, it favors small
fruits, meat, vegetables etc
THE CARS IS TAKEN 3
2 4: Transit zone between green
destinations around aligned around the water. Independent shops, shops,
In this case it makes it possible to establish a various commercial not
UNDER A TUNNEL TO 1 carpet and square with bars,
management for the public space giving owner- found at Bragernes etc.
ACCOMMOATE THE 5: Small public space for small
ship to a certain space for local business. It also,
6 though the public space keeps its scale, breaks Bars, nightclubs, hotel, pool
GREEN CROSSOVER activities and recreation. Sit
up the public space into smaller pieces sustaining and other activities etc.
down and relax and hear the
AS SEEN ILLUSTRATED water run by in the river.
the possibility for year around activities without
having the dangerous of being empty. Each of Business, offices, public/
BELOW. THE CONCEPT 6: The urban park square for mixed
the small spaces have the power it self to attract private, culture, exhibition,
uses aimed specifically for the
BEHIND THIS IS TO youth. Skating, bmx, rollerblades
activity and people, also in relations to the sun gallery etc.
versus shadows from the threes.
FURTHER STRENGTH- etc.
EN THE CONNECTION
WITH ADJACENT AR-
EAS FOR PEDESTRI- WHAT: CIVIC ACTIVITY
ANS AND SECURE To sustain a year around activity people is the key issue to achieve this. However people are attracted by other
SAFETY PASSINGS people, people are attracted by work possibilities, leisure, entertainment and other elements of joy.
Civic buildings such as libraries, museums, public buildings and so are important factors for creating civic life and
activity. It also defines an urban typology with magnificent structures defining Architecture of place. The new con-
cepts of Strømsø do not emphasize the construction of new architecture, however more looking towards the refur-
Gas station (removed)
NEW FIRE STATION
Fire station (moved) NEW CULTURAL HUB
UNDERGROUND parking linked to the tunnel. Elevates up
to the public square and cultural building. bishing of existing structures. All heritage buildings marked class A has been kept to its origin. New architecture is
established to accommodate new urban footprint as displayed attached as streets to the principle of “reaching out
like an octopus”. The project have though removed the existing fire station (fig. to the left) to where the existing gas
station (west side) used to be. The argument for this is that the future profile of a car free district will not require
Removing the fire station the project is able to conceptualize the extension towards the sports and recreation area;
establish a new urban park and conceptualize a new cultural structure facing the square and the park at the same
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