Narvik (NO)


Project Scale S - Urban architecture

Location Technical Quarter, Narvik

Population 18,800 inhab.

Strategic site 7.9 ha – Project site 1.4 ha

Site proposed by Municipality of Narvik and Narvikgården AS

Actors involved Municipality of Narvik, Narvikgården AS, UiT Narvik, Narvik Student Organization, Narvik Research Park (+ more)

Owner of the site Narvikgården AS

Post-competition phase Planning Commission

Team representative Architect, urban planner, landscape architect

More Information

How can the site contribute to the productive city?

Recent development in the population of Narvik features stagnation as students and young people leave the city after having ended their studies. As a counter measure, Narvik wants to invest in the young and a future that offer a broader specter of jobs and opportunities. The city has put focus on developing the existing knowledge-based production. Being the regional city of high schools, and having a university and a research park with special emphasis on engineering, provides a good starting point. Narvik has decided to utilize the ‘Technical Quarter’ as part of this strategy. The Europan site will in the future become an arena in the city center where the young people of Narvik can live, socialize, produce and start up their own businesses. The city belives that the Europan site can become an arena that instigates production, connects programs, and benefits the ongoing transformation of the city centre. The activities on the site will contribute in the long run to influence the economic and social diversity of Narvik.

City strategy

Currently, the city centre is in the process of being transformed. The highway currently running through the city centre, ‘Kongensgate, is going to be rerouted in a tunnel, this enables a different take on the dynamics of the city. ‘Kongensgate’ is going to be transformed into a more sustainable streetscape, more accessible to public use where the pedestrianized connections between public and commercial facilities are improved.
The city wants more people to hang out in the city centre. The city pictures that the ‘Technical Quarter’ has a broad specter of programs, such as student housing, flexible venue spaces for events, co-working spaces, workshops, commercial facilities and a teaching center for physics (Teknorama). For Narvik at large it can become a connection point between the high schools, the univeristy, businesses and urban life. This is an oppotunity to test the ‘Productive City’ on a level of a city block.

Site definition 

The Technical Quarter holds a position in between the City Hall and Bromsgård Park. Bromsgård Park is a fenced area owned by the mining company that represents the cornerstone industry in Narvik. Tangent to the site is the main road, ‘Kongensgate’. The site is comprised by seven buildings. Up to recently, most of the buildings have temporarily hosted some of the functions of the City Hall as this building has been renovated. Now, however, a significant share of the locations will be emptied, and the site is ready to be transformed and to take on new functions. Current programs present at the site are NAV (Norwegian Welfare and Labour Service), Innovation Norway dep. Narvik, the municipal departements of Buildings Management, Area Planning, the School of Culture, the regional fire station and co-working spaces for newly established businesses amongst others. One of the buildings at site is preserved as cultural heritage.

How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?

Narvik is a city that primarily exist because it is host to a port. The harbor district in Narvik loads the second most tonnage in Norway, as it is the shipping port for the iron ore from the mines in Kiruna, Sweden. The mines in Kiruna is said to have the largest occurrence of iron ore in the world. Due to this, Narvik has become a center for logistics and transportation, with railway lines connected to southern Scandinavia and Central Europe. Even though the harbor of Narvik is in a stable position, the city has found itself in need of diversifying its economy. Narvik is predominantly a monofunctional city, and a more diverse production can increase growth in the city. This has led out their focus on pursuing knowledge-based industries. What the city points out as ‘the Network of Knowledge’ is constituted by the university, the research park and several schools. The university has its focus in engineering and technical education, but do also provide education within economics, business and health. The city serves as a regional center for business and service to its surrounding municipalities. With Europan the city of Narvik wants to strengthen this position by creating a promising place for the future generations. Competitors are asked to imagine a productive quarter that will play a significant role in the future of the city.

Looking towards the Narvikfjellet mountain
Sentrumsgården facing Kongensgate


Workshops and parking lots on the backside of Sentrumsgården
Inside one of the workshops


Questions on the site

What is the significance of the Astrupgarden building? Why is it under protection and what does it represent in Narvik?

Astrupgården was built in 1903, meaning that it represents the architecture of the city’s earliest years. This is of significance as Narvik was severely damaged during Second World War and many buildings were destroyed. Astrupgården is under protection to maintain the historical architecture.

In 1903 Astrupgården was owned by Nils and Edith Astrup. Both the father Nils and the daughter Etty Egilsrud had a doctor's office in the building.

Today the building is operated by Astrupgården AS, which is responsible for the rental of premises and parking. The buildings have apartments, rooms, a restaurant and banqueting rooms for rent.

Drawings of Astrupgården has been uploaded to the 'New-Docs-After-Launch' -folder.

Could you please provide more information about zoning code. Information relating to i.e. max height of the buildings, building footprint, distances between buildings etc.

For the densification areas in Narvik center, it must be developed a zoning plan for each quarter (...) In principle, the height of buildings can be up to 4 floors, in addition to   possible lower floors (basements), assessed by the consequences to the close surroundings and landscape image. Further decisions are made in the regulatory planning process. In certain situations, 1 or 2 floors can be retracted in addition to the specified height. (…) The areas should be built with a high degree of density. The degree of density is assessed more closely by regulation.

Distances between the buildings must be cosnidered in a regulatory planning process.

In the assignment, the participants are asked to make a vision for the Technical Quarter. The given program is quite wide, is there a more specific program available – or, is it up to the participants to choose what will be the prevailing programmatic direction (live, socialize, work)?

The participants are asked to make a vision that contains a mix of the three (live, socialize, work). A guideline is that the ground floor can contain any program except residential program, meaning ground floor contains cultural programs, office space, social venues etc. The program will be subject to revisions as the planning goes along. Hence, it is important to present a robust concept.

Does the rerouting of the national highway in a tunnel have further consequences except avoiding heavy traffic out of the town center?

The consequences of rerouting the national highway Is positive to Narvik. As stated in the competition brief the rerouting enables a transformation of Kongensgate to become a sustainable street that is better adjusted to soft infrastructures, and that allows for more vegetation. The rerouting will make it safer to walk around in the city center, and it will have a significant impact on the effect pollution and noise.

Is it possible to connect the project site with the northern street at the point where the rail tracks split?

Assuming the referred ‘northern street’ is the road situated between the Bromsgård Park and the railway tracks – this is unfortunately not possible as the road is operated by LKAB.

Are all the railroad tracks in use?

The railway tracks are in use. The tracks passing by the project site leads to harbors in Narvik, like LKABS ore/mineral terminal. Daily, there are 11 trains transporting ore, 2 passenger trains and 3 cargo trains – tour/detour, meaning the frequency of trains passing by is multiplied with two.

Teknorama; Is it possible to get a more specific description about the existing Teknorama? What is the programmatic specifications for the Teknorama (type of spaces, area)? Does the Teknorama program include a planetarium or other similar programs? What would be approximate size of this building?

The Teknorama center does not physically exist yet. Teknorama is a concept which was developed as an idea in 2009. There has been made a sketch proposal for the science center on a different location in the city, however, the site representatives are interested in exploring the location and appearance of it at the Technical Quarter.

The Teknorama center could contain a visitor’s center, showrooms, a Newton Room, exhibition spaces with visualizations of both universal and local themes related to technology. There has been made initial area calculations and programmatic indications for the Teknorama in the early sketch proposal, but this information is not being submitted by reason – competitors are asked to focus on developing an overall concept for the project site, in which the Teknorama is integrated. This could be either as a separate building, or as program that share functions with other programs at the site.

In the building of the administration of Narvik Culture School (building 2), are there just offices and meeting rooms, or are there also classrooms and spaces for teaching?

There are offices, meeting rooms, spaces for teaching and rehearsal rooms in the building.

Do the current offices located in Sentrumsgården (building 4) have to stay at the Project Site, or not?

The offices that currently are located at Sentrumsgården do not have stay at the Project Site.

Is the Bromsgård Park going to be fully open to public or only partly?

The Bromsgård Park is going to be partly open to public use. As shown in the diagram on p. 19 in the Competition Brief.

What are precise examples of events such as conferences, meetings, concerts, exhibitions that could happen in the Technical Quarter?

The type of events relates to the concept of the quarter, which is up to the competitors to suggest. A guiding principle is that the event venue(s) should be mixed-use/flexible and within a smaller scale than similar venues in Narvik.

Is there a plan to move the railway station closer to the start of the future gondola lift ?

There is no plan for moving the railway station.

Is it possible to get a dwg-file with closed curves (in the dwg-file available all curves are open)? This is useful for building a 3D-model of the site.

In the ‘New Docs After Launch’-folder there is a dwg-file with closed curves (NO-Narvik-PS-M2.dwg). The terrain curves are working, but the buildings have become disrupted. As the municipalities in Norway is using a specific Norwegian standard file-format (SOSI-format) some of the files becomes disrupted in the conversion from SOSI to dwg. The terrain in the recent model has terrain contours with 1 meter’s height.

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