Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Gro Bonesmo delivers the annual Paul S. Byard Memorial Lecture
Response by Dean Amale Andraos and Jorge Otero-Pailos, Columbia GSAPP
In the fifth annual Paul S. Byard Memorial Lecture, architect and GSAPP alumna Gro Bonesmo presents her work with Gary Bates and Floire Nathanael Daub for the Oslo-based firm, Space Group. The practice’s many notable projects include the Verkstedhallene, the adaptive reuse of a late-1800s industrial building on the Norwegian capital’s harbor that involved the removal of elements from a 1980s renovation, as well as the addition of new elements and reorganization of program. Space Group anchored the building within Oslo’s changing urban fabric by cutting a diagonal street with shops throughout, and by carving a publicly accessible Kjerne (Core) that increases light, access, and common areas within. The project is the first stage of the firm’s masterplan for the commercial redevelopment of Aker Brygge, the city’s western waterfront Central Business District.
Also in Oslo, Space Group refurbished a former textile plant designed by Norwegian architects Ove Ekman and Einar Smith and erected from 1896 to 1899 alongside the Akerselva River. Having partially burned in an interior fire in the 1980s, Space Group’s design inserts a new architecture within the shell of the old — a dialogue of old and new that houses several film production companies under one large glass roof.
These and many other projects by Gro Bonesmo and Space Group exemplify Paul S. Byard’s commitment to preservation as a forward-thinking act.