RODEO ARCHITECTS

"Slurpen" - A community house in Grünerløkka

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"Slurpen" - A community house in Grünerløkka

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Type: Feasibility study, planning project
Client: Grünerløkka district
Program: Historical school building, surrounding street park and playground
Location: Oslo, Norway
Status: Completed April 2018

Team: Kenneth Dahlgren, Cecilia Carlsson, Knut Schreiner

In the fall of 2017, Rodeo was commissioned by representatives from Bydel Grünerløkka and Slurpen Kultur- og Aktivitetshus, a community house in the Grünerløkka district in Oslo, to make a feasibility study; an analysis of the challenges and the possibilities facing the house’s current situation in its ambition to become a major social venue and neighborhood service for families, children and adolescents in Grünerløkka.

“Slurpen” was originally the school kitchen for Lakkegata Skole, but has since the 1980s served as a cultural venue under shifting administrations. For adults, the venue is remembered as a venue for live music and parties in the 1990s. Since the 2000s, it’s been under Bydel Grünerløkkas administration, mainly housing the local youth club Dragen Juniorklubb, as well as providing facilities for a selection of cultural and physical activities for all age groups. Slurpens generous cellar is still being used as a party venue for rent, playing an important role in Slurpen’s economy.

As a result, Slurpen has a diffuse identity, or parallel identities, in Oslo and Grunerløkka 2018. Slurpen’s offerings and services as an activities’ venue, is not well known for the local population. The site is also somehow “hidden” in the face of the current city development in the Grünerløkka and neighboring Gamle Oslo district. It’s located on the border of two “places” in Oslo – “Løkka” and “Tøyen”, surrounded by heavy traffic in east and the downbeat Trondheimsveien in west.

Slurpen also faces identity issues in relation to the area’s demographic pattern: In an area popular among well-educated young people and middle class families with cultural capital, it’s simultaneously the home of a large population of non-western immigrants and poor. Slurpen’s challenge is to find a way to serve as a community house for families across the sosio-economic ladder.

Rodeo arranged a participation workshop to gather the actual needs and attitudes towards Slupren in its current state among parents in the neighborhood, as well as carrying out a survey for a larger number of users. The results showed that Slurpen has major challenges in reaching the local community; to appear and serve as a relevant and inviting service in their daily family lives.

After identifying Slurpen’s main challenges, Rodeo suggested four strategies for the community house’s future: 1. To open up and become more inviting, in communication with the locals, and in entrance and physical form. 2. To a bigger degree serve older kids and youth. 3. To focus on Slurpen’s location and role as a public space. Seeing it as part of a bigger outdoor-situation in Lakkegata and the schoolyard, and a planned skatepark right next to it, Slurpen can become headquarter of an entire “Children’s street” in Grünerløkka. 4. To focus on its role as social venue for the population, a provider of social capital.

Among these recommendations, the thought of a greater “Children’s street” in the largely car-free Lakkegata is the most ambitious. In relation to current city planning in the neighboring downtown area and around Akerselva, and ongoing gentrification-processes in the surrounding districts – it’s easy to envision the possibility of this scenario.

Rodeo will present our recommendations and report for the municipality in April 2018.

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Type: Feasibility study, planning project
Client: Grünerløkka district
Program: Historical school building, surrounding street park and playground
Location: Oslo, Norway
Status: Completed April 2018

Team: Kenneth Dahlgren, Cecilia Carlsson, Knut Schreiner

In the fall of 2017, Rodeo was commissioned by representatives from Bydel Grünerløkka and Slurpen Kultur- og Aktivitetshus, a community house in the Grünerløkka district in Oslo, to make a feasibility study; an analysis of the challenges and the possibilities facing the house’s current situation in its ambition to become a major social venue and neighborhood service for families, children and adolescents in Grünerløkka.

“Slurpen” was originally the school kitchen for Lakkegata Skole, but has since the 1980s served as a cultural venue under shifting administrations. For adults, the venue is remembered as a venue for live music and parties in the 1990s. Since the 2000s, it’s been under Bydel Grünerløkkas administration, mainly housing the local youth club Dragen Juniorklubb, as well as providing facilities for a selection of cultural and physical activities for all age groups. Slurpens generous cellar is still being used as a party venue for rent, playing an important role in Slurpen’s economy.

As a result, Slurpen has a diffuse identity, or parallel identities, in Oslo and Grunerløkka 2018. Slurpen’s offerings and services as an activities’ venue, is not well known for the local population. The site is also somehow “hidden” in the face of the current city development in the Grünerløkka and neighboring Gamle Oslo district. It’s located on the border of two “places” in Oslo – “Løkka” and “Tøyen”, surrounded by heavy traffic in east and the downbeat Trondheimsveien in west.

Slurpen also faces identity issues in relation to the area’s demographic pattern: In an area popular among well-educated young people and middle class families with cultural capital, it’s simultaneously the home of a large population of non-western immigrants and poor. Slurpen’s challenge is to find a way to serve as a community house for families across the sosio-economic ladder.

Rodeo arranged a participation workshop to gather the actual needs and attitudes towards Slupren in its current state among parents in the neighborhood, as well as carrying out a survey for a larger number of users. The results showed that Slurpen has major challenges in reaching the local community; to appear and serve as a relevant and inviting service in their daily family lives.

After identifying Slurpen’s main challenges, Rodeo suggested four strategies for the community house’s future: 1. To open up and become more inviting, in communication with the locals, and in entrance and physical form. 2. To a bigger degree serve older kids and youth. 3. To focus on Slurpen’s location and role as a public space. Seeing it as part of a bigger outdoor-situation in Lakkegata and the schoolyard, and a planned skatepark right next to it, Slurpen can become headquarter of an entire “Children’s street” in Grünerløkka. 4. To focus on its role as social venue for the population, a provider of social capital.

Among these recommendations, the thought of a greater “Children’s street” in the largely car-free Lakkegata is the most ambitious. In relation to current city planning in the neighboring downtown area and around Akerselva, and ongoing gentrification-processes in the surrounding districts – it’s easy to envision the possibility of this scenario.

Rodeo will present our recommendations and report for the municipality in April 2018.