Exit Stavanger started as a continuation of two other projects, both sited within the city of Stavanger, Norway. Each of the three projects revolved around the idea of site revitalization and the larger effects on the city as a whole.
This particular project began with the effort to compose documentation that expressed the collective thoughts about architecture today. In the end, what resulted was an intense and personal manifesto covering such topics as metaoperative architecture, balance, freedom and order, the rhizomatic city and architecture for the liberation of the spirit. The project developed from a philosophical discussion into a physical exploration of contemporary urban planning and architecture.
The next process of the project was to individually recreate an urban link within the existing site of the Stavanger railway station. A man-made lake sat to the north of the aging station and just south of the old downtown area. With nothing more than a bus terminal and a rarely used pedestrian promenade, the railway station had created a barrier among the surrounding neighborhoods and downtown. An additional consideration was the station's location among the city's heaviest travelled vehicular pathways, both highways and underground tunnels.
The process that became a leading force for this design was ultimately contextural issues of scale, movement throughout the site and other surrounding elements of the city. Redevelopment of the urban landscape was also introduced into the program so that the site could familriarze itself not only with the occasional passerby, but the people of Stavanger as well.
The site was enormous and allowed for numerous activities to engage people of all ages. In addition to the railway and bus terminals, various shops and eateries were incorporated as well as theatres, event areas, offices, single-family residential units and a cyber-cafe.
Becauase of the severity of the surroundign architecture and its brutal scale, pedestrian-friendly spaces were created at every opportunity. The lake was also embraced not as a bordering element, but an amenity of outdoor entertainment and activity.
The linearity of the site and its surrounding traffic patterns informed the design and the arrangement of programmatic spaces. It was important that ll areas of public interest be easily accessible by foot as well as the visual connection of the station and surrounding city.