Here’s what a future-proof culture and wellness pavilion above the Arctic circle can look like
Norwegian architecture student Louise Holsing Odden invites nature in new project for acoustical product supplier BAUX.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
April 17, 2023
Odden is a 25-year-old architecture student from Trondheim, Norway, currently working on her master thesis at the Norwegian School of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. During Stockholm Furniture Fair, she was one of eight students presenting a special project for Baux.
— My project, Ocean pulse, is a culture and wellness pavilion located in Norway’s Lofoten Islands. It is a place to unwind from everyday life and a destination for relaxing after a hike or a surf. The pavilion invites its visitors to experience the unique and pulsing nature.
What was the inspiration behind it?
— Nature is the main inspiration. As more and more people live busy lives influenced by the increasing use of technology and a constant chase for more success, I think it is important to reconnect with nature. I wanted to create a cultural venue that facilitates reconnection with nature, a multipurpose space to recharge and connect with nature and the people you spend time with. A place to do yoga, have a communal dinner, or a workshop, Odden explains. She continues:
— In the fourth year of my architecture education, I studied in Copenhagen and had a very interesting course called Health design, focusing on how important spending time in natural environments is to prevent stress and how beneficial nature can be in the treatment of different illnesses. Another important inspiration behind the project is Baux’s focus on sustainable and natural materials in their acoustic products. I wanted the project to be easy to assemble and disassemble and a big focus was working on a concept where the building wouldn’t make any permanent damage to the landscape it was placed in, if it was to be moved or dismantled in the ’future’. During Stockholm Furniture Fair, I talked to so many cool people, who wanted to discuss my project and how it could be developed further. All the feedback I have received has been super positive.
And what now? Will you continue with the concept in any way?
— In the future, I hope I get to work with concepts that invite people to spend time in nature, spaces that are available to everyone. As of now the development of the pavilion is paused, but in the future when I have more experience, I hope I can work with realizing wellness projects with saunas and flexible rooms that are available to everyone. Places that encourage people to visit nature and spend time together with friends and family.
Odden’s master thesis project is a project that investigates new forms of meeting places for the young elderly that live in the city.
— It’s called Third places for people in the third age, where I am transforming an old concrete structure from 1972 into a new vibrant venue. It houses different activities that promote growth, development, and the formation of new relationships in the life phase Peter Laslett defined The third age, the age of healthy retirement. In the project, I am focusing on transforming and adding two new stories to an existing building, that today houses a dysfunctional nursing home. The three first floors are going to house public functions for young pensioners, like a small brewery, co-working spaces, and communal cooking facilities. The two top floors are designed as small apartments.
— In the future, I think it will be super important to design spaces where people can come together and feel a sense of community. As I believe one of our biggest threats as a society, is isolation and people feeling left out. I think architects will have a great responsibility to plan and facilitate these meeting places where people come together and feel a sense of community and belonging.