The Ocean Space Centre: how do you build a global knowledge hub?

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OSC aquarium. Architects: Snøhetta. Illustration: MIR

Trondheim seems to be the place where it’s all happening these days, architecturally speaking. Is the city turning into the new Dubai? If so, it will hopefully avoid the more-money-than-taste extravagance and subsequent economic backlash.

The latest big project to be announced is the Ocean Space Centre. The architects are Snøhetta, the practice behind the widely acclaimed Oslo opera house, winner of the Mies van der Rohe award 2009.

Oceanlab from the air. Architects: Snøhetta. Illustration: MIR

The design includes a disc-shaped, fjord-based laboratory surrounded by artificial reefs and high-tech research equipment. The location of the lab, on the edge of a steep sea-bed drop, will allow scientists to recreate the conditions of a 3000m deep ocean basin.

Back at the harbour, eleven mushroom-like buildings perched on tall stalks will contain offices, lecture theatres and a visitor centre. Snøhetta has also included a masterplan for further urban development, including residential spaces.

OSC ground view. Architects: Snøhetta. Illustration: MIR

But far from being ‘just’ another iconic building project, the Ocean Space Centre forms part of an overall strategy to create a “supercluster” for maritime knowledge and research.

A report on the project by Prof. Torger Reve at the BI Norwegian School of Management (PDF downloadable here, in English) provides an interesting insight into how global knowledge hubs are created – and, by extension, how architectural design and infrastructure can help shape the socio-economic future of their location.

The report takes as its example the biotechnology and life science industry in Boston. The greater Boston area has a higher concentration of advanced universities, research labs and specialised biotech firms than anywhere else in the world.

See also Hans-Dieter Evers (2008): Knowledge hubs and knowledge clusters: designing a knowledge architecture for development.

Elevated offices. Architects: Snøhetta. Illustration: MIR

Lab entrance. Architects: Snøhetta. Illustration: MIR

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2 Responses to “The Ocean Space Centre: how do you build a global knowledge hub?”

  1. Dezhou – a technology hub for solar energy « Building Says:

    […] Building New ideas for the built environment « The Ocean Space Centre: how do you build a global knowledge hub? […]

  2. Top 10 blog posts from the ESI.info blogs. « esidigitalmarketing Says:

    […] The Ocean Space Centre- How do you build a global knowledge hub? […]

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