Diploma 2016 - "Gnr/Bnr 55/1" by Mats Østang

The diploma is situated at the Valvatne farm at Stord, Hordaland, Norway. The project involves two different, challenging situations and aims to propose a common solution for both. The situations are:

- the Syrian refugee situation

- the decay of Norwegian pre-industrial cluster farms

Syrian refugees are largely granted permission to stay in Norway by UDI (Directorate of Immigration) due to the current situation in Syria. However, during the time the applications to stay in Norway are being processed, the refugees are stationed in permanent and temporary centers which rarely offers architectural or programmatical qualities to match up with meaningful day-to-day activities. Meanwhile, throughout the country, historic cluster farms (tun) are decaying due to lack of funding of restoration and maintenance, risking the loss of cultural heritage. Gnr/Bnr 55/1 is in a better state, however in need of maintenance and use.

The diploma investigates how these issues can be given a joint solution by facilitating meaningful activities for refugees in a historically and naturally rich environment; at Gnr/Bnr 55/1. It should be a place where the different skillsets and professional backgrounds of individuals can be applied within a new and safe environment. Also including the community of Stord by added public programs at the site, it aims to look at the concept integration in a new way, trying to develop a new type of exchange platform where both local communities and refugees are equal participants. This platform is intended to stand in, what many percieves, the gap between cultures, aiding the integration process. The exchange platform will in this context mainly make use of farm activities as the parent program.

The diploma ultimately propose a strategy for activities and integration for refugees and locals, as well as a new strategy for how to approach the issue of derelict historical cluster farms.

Key words: shared, exchange, incubator, integration, typology


Concept model: the exchange platform. Introducing a common platform between locals and refugees for each group to meet under new, informal conditions.


An example of mapping architectural key elements in the existing structures at the site, in order to create a structural concept for the new buildings which was needed to facilitate the new programs.


Program zones: sectioning the site into zones for different functions (public, farming, private / residential areas, etc.)


Introducing the ´spine´: a conceptual visualization of the main movement, developed according to the research work. The spine connects the programs and the new and existing structures as well as the surrounding housing estates to the site, changing it from having monoprogrammatic to polyprogrammatic functions. New structures in white and existing in grey.


Masterplan: existing and new structures, proposed amount of trees, pathways (small stone slabs).

Excerpt from one of the new structures: the residence. Plans and sections


Excerpt from one of the new structures: the residence. Elevations and isometrics


Excerpt from one of the new structures: the bridge connecting the residential / private area with the 1st floor of the barn, where education for the refugees takes place. The extrusion through the building envelope of the barn provides a viewpoint of the site. Plan and section. 


Excerpt from one of the new structures: the kitchen and dining building. Plans and sections


Blackboard drawing showing schematically the structural principle and details 


Landscape model with the spine, existing and proposed structures, 1:200


Detail from the landscape model


The exhibition