Fleinvær Workshop - Fordypningsrommet
After what seemed like a never ending train journey through countryside shaped by ice and wind eons ago, we arrived in Bodø where the cool morning air greeted us in our race towards the port, we cannot miss the boat! The one boat that will bare you across the cold North Sea to inhospitable rocks where any sane person long ago would have come to the conclusion that one should not live here. An hour passes we find ourselves on Fleinvær a small set of islands gently nesting on the precipice of the North Sea sheltered only by rock and stone.
At this forsaken cove, far above the Arctic Circle, we discover a landscape that leaves us speechless, full of contrasts and metaphors. Here is where one man decided some years ago to develop a space of elements to accommodate artistic quality and perfection with the juxtaposition of both natural and architectural spaces. In order to form the BEST space to artistic endeavour and reflection. Thus our job was clear, the final stitch work of this project.
Analyse, observe, discuss, propose.
Unlike our previous project, there is no clear system to follow other than to observe, communicate and work together in order to respond to what is being asked of us. Observe, draw and discuss the context, the island, its rocks, slopes, orientation and placement of the existing structure, the typologies, similarities, differences, etc. We target what we believe is right and what is wrong, discussing together and seeking those things that we need to work.
We realise that due to the peculiar situation we are in by being on an island lost on the edge of the north sea the only thing we have to work with is what is already there, which throws all plans of grandeur out the window so to speak. The focus of this project is clear to us, to create beautiful pieces of design with what is already here or whatever natural resources we can claim from the island.
Our focus was to finalise the spaces that we felt were left empty after the previous projects in order to “stitch” the projects together into one coherent project. We concluded on three projects that needed to be developed; a bench for visitors to come and view the gorgeous panoramic views towards the North Sea, a walkway to bind all the houses together so we don't disturb the nature and visitors can walk between the structures whilst keeping their feet dry and lastly a gathering place with a fire pit for people to meet, sit and possibly cook food.
This element must serve the whole community of the island, it is the first and last element with which the people who come and go will have contact. A bench that will protect them from the wind whilst still being in direct contact with the site. A piece that does not touch the ground but leaves them clinging to the rock.
The solution is simple and stems from the little material available. To put it in place we first fabricated a timber frame which hangs on two stainless steel anchors sunken into the rock giving the illusion of a floating bench. The exterior is clad in leftover cladding from the previous projects cut to follow the contour of the hillside, the top of the bench is covered with tarp underneath the cladding to protect the frame from sustaining excessive water damage.
As you can imagine the weather does not always comply with us mere mortals. Rain, snow, wind, etc, all this makes a space where many people are moving around in nature like this muddy and slippery. Thus, a walkway was started between the buildings in order to spare the ground around the site. Parts of our group were devoted to create a new walkway, continuing the existing form.
Again the lack of available material defines the design and how to find ways to make use of what we have in order to create the best space. The foundation of the final walkway is a horizontal triangular structure, which will be placed at ground level and will rely on rocks placed at each vertex to keep it level with the existing walkway. Finally, add to this structure planks set at a specific spacing and later cut in one continuous line.
The Fire Pit
Now at the highest point of the site, the end of the journey so to speak, neighboured by a house placed on a huge steel pillar we find our last site. Here we were met by the remains of a fire pit and a rudimentary bench, poorly made four planks. On site we decide to clear most of the dirt and existing stone and dig ourselves down until we hit bedrock and then work our way form there. Here we form a stone platform with a large fire pit at one corner with rocks we brought up from the beach and the surrounding area. Around the platform we extend the existing natural path by laying down the dirt we removed form where the stone platform now sits, on top we dig drainage for water and lay down a tarp and gravel on top of that. The stone platform is filled with gravel in order to lock all he larger stones in place and of top of which we place a large timber bench made up of 20x20cm beams reclaimed from the leftover materials.
We now have a space for people to sit and behold the amazing sunset and serene panoramic of the North Sea and the surrounding islands.