Projects / Culture
The Lantern – Covered square in Sandnes
An open public space with a suspended roof in the middle of Sandnes has given the old quarter of the town a new focus and made the city centre more attractive.
Architect: AWP and Atelier Oslo
Published 05 Nov, 2008
Development of the sea front in Sandnes in recent years has meant that the commercial harbour and industry has been displaced by housing, shopping centres, hotels, a civic centre and a college. Langgata is a street in the old quarter of the town, a busy pedestrian area with market, shops, cafés and nightlife. However, the old quarter is cut off from the sea by the railway, a challenge for which Sandnes Town Council has wanted to find a solution. As part of the “Norwegian Wood” project, it was decided that a roof would be erected over the central square in Langgata, to add an attraction to the old quarter and meet the increasing competition from the harbour area. The semitransparent roof structure, with its iconographic barn shape, is supported by clustered oak columns. The columns spread out to distribute the weight of the roof and stabilize the structure. Benches and service conduits have been integrated into the columns. It was originally proposed that the roof structure should be a self-supporting double shell of composite materials, epoxy or polyester, but this was not permitted since it involved use of solvents. Finally, the natural choice was found to be wood and glass, in the form of a three-dimensional latticework, constructed of narrow wooden staves. The columns are constructed of 150 x 150 mm solid oak. The columns can remain untreated, and the hardness of the oak will help to withstand mechanical wear and tear in an exposed urban environment. The wooden structure is covered by a weatherproof skin of glass plates, overlapped to enable the glass to be mounted directly on the wooden framework without the use of steel profiles or sealants.