Fixed Flexibility - Adaptive Reuse: Odda Smelteverk
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Adaptive reuse- the process of repairing and restoring existing buildings for new or continued use- is becoming an essential part of architectural practice. They [buildings] are valued for their essential history, their intrinsic sense of collective memory, and the physical contribution that they make to the built environment. But what is to be done with the huge stock of redundant structures? In my diploma project I aim to answer this question by proposing a transformation of a UNESCO-listed structure at the former industrial site, located in the town of Odda. Odda Smelting Works has been active in the years 1924- 2003, when the company went bankrupt and production of cyanamide and carbide was laid off. Since then, large parts of the plant with approximately 40 000m 2 worth of building mass have been standing unutilized. In my transformation project, I am attempting to transform a unique piece of brutalist architecture from 1956, a 160-meter-long roof-structure made of reinforced concrete, located in the former carbide area of the Smelting Works. This 8cm thick concrete roof is known as “The Shell Roof” or Skalltaket in Norwegian. I chose the strategy of adaptive reuse in order to preserve certain values within the heritage conservation-discussion, such as authenticity and integrity. I introduce a modular structure that is fully reversible because of its’ construction principles. New suggested program has its’ roots in current use and is highly flexible, preserving the original qualities of the Shell Roof as much as possible, simultaneously allowing Odda to take ownership of the place module by module, inviting inhabitants to incrementally occupy projects’ multiple functions. Assigning the structure new functions thus helps topreserve it through active use.